KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — Malaysia’s per capita income is expected to increase this year, however, this would be subject to the country’s economic recovery, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) today.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the recovery pattern of the economic sectors in the country is projected to be uneven, thus affecting salaries and wages.
“If we (the nation) succeed in our efforts to enhance the digital economy and the development of technologies in economic activities in the long run, then the average income measured in terms of salaries and wages will definitely increase.
“However, this depends on how we achieve it (the economic recovery) in the medium term. As for the short term, the priority is on workers returning to work in the business sectors (that have been affected),” he said after announcing the State Socio-Economic Report 2020 virtually today.
Mohd Uzir said measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 also resulted in the mean monthly salaries and wages received by local workers dropping by 9.0 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM2,933 in 2020 from RM3,224 in 2019.
“The average monthly salaries and wages in Johor fell by 13.0 per cent y-o-y, Terengganu (- 12.4 per cent y-o-y), Kuala Lumpur (-12.3 per cent y-o-y), Labuan (-11.5 per cent y-o-y), Sarawak (-11.0 per cent y-o-y) and Selangor (-10.6 per cent y-o-y).
“Meanwhile, in terms of amount, Putrajaya recorded the highest mean monthly salaries and wages at RM4,497,” he said.
He added that several states had exceeded the national mean monthly salaries and wages of RM2,933, namely Kuala Lumpur (RM3,823), Selangor (RM3,480), Negeri Sembilan (RM3,013) and Labuan (RM2,942).
Meanwhile, the national Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) fell by 0.3 percentage points to 68.4 per cent (2019: 68.7 per cent).
Selangor recorded the highest LFPR at 75.4 per cent, followed by Putrajaya (72.5 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (72.1 per cent) and Johor (70.4 per cent), while Kelantan recorded the lowest LFPR at 57.9 per cent.
The unemployment rate also increased to a near three-decade high at 4.5 per cent in 2020.
Mohd Uzir said the Covid-19 health crisis left a profound impact on the country’s socio-economic landscape with Malaysia’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracting by 5.6 per cent in 2020 — the second-lowest since 1998, when the GDP had declined by 7.4 percent.
In line with the contraction in the economic and trade activities worldwide, Malaysia’s trade volume in 2020 declined by 3.6 per cent to RM1.78 trillion from RM1.84 trillion in 2019, he said.
“Malaysia’s inflation rate stood at -1.2 per cent in 2020, and the most affected groups were transport (-10.0 per cent), followed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (-1.7 per cent) and clothing and footwear (-0.8 per cent),” he added.
At the same time, travel restrictions across states and districts have also impacted the country’s domestic tourism industry.
Malaysia’s domestic tourism expenditure in 2020 plummeted by 60.8 per cent to RM40.4 billion from RM103.2 billion in 2019.
Domestic tourist arrivals also fell by 44.9 per cent to 131.7 million from 239.1 million in the previous year.