KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 23): Malaysia experienced positive labour productivity performance in the third quarter (3Q) despite global trade uncertainties, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking.
He said labour productivity as measured by output per hour worked by all persons — including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers — grew by 2.9% (RM36) compared with 2Q, as a result of the growth in output at 4.4% and total hours worked by 1.4%.
Across five main economic sectors, the services sector recorded the highest growth in productivity per hour worked at 5.1%, followed by construction at 4.3%, manufacturing at 2.4% and agriculture at 1.4%. Meanwhile, the mining and quarrying sector experienced a contraction of 2.9%.
“The significant performance of labour productivity in the services sector is due to the higher growth contributed by the retail trade, and information and communication subsectors which grew at 11.2% and 10.3% respectively.
“The financial and insurance subsector grew at 7.1% (2Q: 1.4%) and the motor vehicles subsector grew at 6.4% (2Q: 2.4%) showing marked improvement from the previous quarter,” Leiking said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the country’s labour productivity per person employed grew by 1.7% (RM83,922) in Q3, as output grew by 4.4% and employment by 2.6%.
Labour productivity per person employed, or output per labour, is calculated by dividing real output by the number of employed person by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.
Leiking highlighted that barriers that hinder productivity growth should be removed saying “productivity initiatives should start from all of us whether we are in government, academia or industry”.
The Minister also emphasised existing initiatives, such as those by the Malaysian Productivity Corporation, serve to heighten the country’s business environment.
He expressed hope that Malaysia would be able to achieve the targeted RM88,450 productivity level by 2020, citing that “higher productivity will benefit the citizens in reducing costs and at the same time increase output for better quality of life”.