KUALA LUMPUR: Mean monthly salaries & wages fell 9% to RM2, 933 in 2020 from RM3, 224 in 2019 due to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, strict restrictions and health crisis, the Statistics Department said.
In its Statistics of Salaries & Wages, Malaysia, 2020 report released on Wednesday, it said the decline was the first since the series began in 2010 as the labour market experienced uneven momentum following the health crisis and economic consequences.
“This had caused job losses as well as cancellation or freezing of new hires and subsequently resulting total employment to decline.
“Besides, strict Covid-19 containment measures adopted in the country also had limited the business operation hours and led to the reduction in working hours, ” Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said.
After two consecutive years recording more than RM3, 000, the mean monthly salaries & wages declined to RM2, 933 in 2020 (2019: RM3, 224).
The sectors which were hardest hit were agriculture, which reported a 20% fall in wages, mining 17.7%, construction 10.4%, services 9.4% and manufacturing 2.8%.
This data was compiled based on its salaries & wages survey which measured the monthly salaries & wages received by full-time equivalent employees among the Malaysian citizens working in the private and public sectors based on their principal occupation.
Out of 15.0 million employed persons in 2020, the number of citizen salaries & wages recipients was 9.4 million persons.
Mohd Uzir said throughout 2020, the Malaysia’s labour market experienced uneven momentum following of health crisis and economic consequences. This had caused job losses as well as cancellation or freezing of new hires and subsequently resulting total employment to decline.
Among the industries in the services sector comprising wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, they recorded a decline of 14.9% in mean monthly salaries and wages.
The accommodation and food and beverage service activities recorded a fall of 13.7%.
Mohd Uzir said the mean monthly salaries & wages for skilled employees was RM4, 619 (2019: RM5, 072). In this skilled occupation category, managers received the highest mean monthly salaries & wages at RM6, 479 followed by professionals (RM5, 301) and technicians & associate professionals (RM3, 313).
However, the mean value received by managers registered the largest contraction as compared to the previous year (2019: RM8, 855).
The mean value of semi-skilled employees was RM2, 007 (2019: 2, 206) where mean salaries & wages received by clerical support workers was RM2, 370.
Other semi-skilled occupations category registered a mean value lower than RM2, 000 namely services & sales workers (RM1, 926); skilled agricultural, forestry, livestock and fishery workers (RM1, 547); craft and related trades workers (RM1, 891); and Plant and machine-operators and assemblers (RM1, 918).
As for the elementary workers, they received mean monthly salaries & wages of RM1, 727 in 2020.
Mohd Uzir said although the mean monthly salaries & wages for both urban and rural stratum declined in 2020, mean value in urban posted a larger decrease of 9.3% to RM3, 089 while in rural areas, there was a 5.5% decline to 5.5 per cent to RM2, 086.
By state, the highest mean monthly salaries & wages was received by employees in Putrajaya (RM4, 497); Kuala Lumpur (RM3, 823), Selangor (RM3, 480), Negeri Sembilan (RM3, 013) and Labuan (RM2, 942).
“All states recorded a decline in mean monthly salaries & wages as compared to 2019, ” he said.
Another perspective of analysing the situation of monthly salaries & wages is the median value.
Median monthly salaries & wages recorded a double-digit decrease of 15.6%, after an average growth of 5.6% for the past nine years.
“The median value was RM2, 062 indicates half of employees earned above this value and half earned below.
“In terms of the number of recipients in 2020, it increased albeit at a slower rate of 2.1% to 9.4 million persons as compared to an increase of 5% recorded in 2019 (9.2 million persons), ” he said.