KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Malaysia recorded a labour productivity growth of 2.1 per cent to RM93,973 in 2019 from RM92,018 in 2018, contributing to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.3 per cent in 2019, says the Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC).

In terms of labour productivity by value-added per hour, the MPC in its National Productivity Report 2020 said growth was 2.2 per cent in 2019 compared with 3.4 per cent in 2018.

The five main sectors generally improved labour productivity through 2019, with the construction sector’s labour productivity by value per employment growing 3.3 per cent to RM45,293, followed by the services sector (2.9 per cent to RM89,513) and the manufacturing sector (1.7 per cent to RM123,896).

Agriculture’s labour productivity by value-added per employment posted growth of 0.4 per cent to RM54,212, while the mining and quarrying sector recorded a slight decline at 1.6 per cent to RM1.34 million.

In the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20), Malaysia posted GDP growth of 0.7 per cent, and a further decline can be expected in the second quarter of 2020 due to the unintended economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

MPC said Malaysia’s labour force increased by 2.0 per cent to 15.6 million persons in 2019 from 15.3 million in 2018, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.3 per cent.

In 1Q20, the unemployment rate increased to 3.5 per cent reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as the government enforced the movement control order (MCO) and shutdown of businesses to contain the outbreak.

Internationally, Malaysia recorded a productivity level of US$68,473, ahead of Asian countries including Thailand (US$35,556), Indonesia (US$28,694), China (US$35,604) and Vietnam (US$13,768).

However, amongst developed countries, Singapore continues to hold the highest labour productivity per person employed at US$153,124 with the United States coming in second at US$131,783.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has improved its rank to 12th from 15th amongst 190 economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 Report.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today launched the National Productivity Report 2020, an annual report by the MPC.

The 27th edition is themed “Resilience Through Productivity”. — Bernama