PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s labour productivity performance expanded last year to RM93,973, a 2.1% growth from the RM92,018 recorded in 2018.

The statistic, calculated in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per person employed, or “value-added per employment”, contributed to Malaysia’s GDP growth of 4.3% last year, said the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).

“In terms of GDP per total hours worked, or ‘value-added per hour’, Malaysia’s labour productivity grew by 2.2% in 2019 compared with 3.4% in 2018,” MPC said in it’s National Productivity Report 2020 launched today.

Among Malaysia’s main economic sectors, labour productivity generally improved throughout 2019.

“In terms of value per employment, the construction sector’s labour productivity grew 3.3% to RM45,293, followed by the services sector’s 2.9% growth to RM89,513.

“Agriculture posted a growth of 0.4% to RM54,212, while the manufacturing sector saw labour productivity increased by 1.7% to RM123,896.

“The mining and quarrying sector recorded a slight decline of 1.6% to RM1.34 million,” the report said.

MPC reported that In the first quarter of 2020, Malaysia posted GDP growth of 0.7%. A further decline can be expected in the second quarter of 2020 “due to the unintended economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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

“In the first quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate increased to 3.5% reflecting the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report added.

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.”

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

The report, now in it’s 27th edition, is themed “Resilience Through Productivity”.