PETALING JAYA: The average monthly salaries and wages received by paid employees in Malaysia increased 8.1% to RM2,880 in 2017 from RM2,657 in the previous year, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Meanwhile, median monthly salaries rose 7.7% a year to RM2,160 from RM2,000 in 2016. With seven out of 10 employed persons being paid employees, the number of paid employees stood at 8.7 million in 2017 compared with 8.4 million in the previous year. A paid employee is defined as a person who works for at least six hours a day or at least 20 days a month. The salaries and wages survey report noted that the median and mean salaries for urban areas were higher than rural areas. For a population of 7.3 million, the median salary in urban area stood at RM2,260 while the mean salary was at RM3,038. Meanwhile, the median salary for a population of 1.4 million in the rural area stood at RM1,400 while the mean salary at RM2,040. Employees with a tertiary education background have a median and mean salaries of RM3,400 and RM4,320 respectively, while those with secondary education recorded RM1,750 and RM2,055 respectively. The median salary for primary educated was RM1,400 while mean was RM1,649. As for those with no formal education, the median salary stood at RM1,100 while the mean salary at RM1,410. The salaries and wages survey is conducted by the Statistics Department every year using the household approach to collect information of monthly salaries and wages from the principal occupation of paid employees. It is carried out using probability sampling covering all states in Malaysia.