An Insight on Employment Rate in Malaysia 2024

April 01, 2024 09:00

As we step into the heart of 2024, Malaysia's employment landscape stands at a crossroads, presenting a tapestry woven with diverse indicators and economic intricacies. The numbers tell a story of forecasted unemployment rates, total labor force projections, and the anticipated pulse of the nation's job market. However, beneath these statistical layers lies a narrative shaped by the rising cost of living, shifting labor force dynamics, and the ever-present specter of a global economic slowdown.

In this blog post, we embark on a journey to decipher the complex threads that weave through Malaysia's employment scenario. Our exploration will delve into the key indicators – from unemployment rates returning to pre-pandemic levels to the forecasted total labor force – providing insights into the challenges and opportunities that define the employment landscape in 2024. Join us as we unravel the complexities, examine expert perspectives, and seek to understand the real-life implications for individuals and the nation as a whole. Welcome to the exploration of Malaysia's employment trends in 2024 – a tale of numbers, realities, and the evolving dynamics of the job market.

Key Employment Indicators

  • Unemployment Rate: Forecasted to reach 3.52% in 2024, signaling a return to pre-pandemic levels.

  • Total Unemployed: Predicted to be 0.64 million in 2024.

  • Employment Rate: Expected to reach 68.67% in 2024.

  • Total Labor Force: Projected at 18.12 million.

  • Labor Productivity: Forecasted at US$12.49 in 2024.

The Impact of Cost of Living
Despite apparent improvements in job statistics, economists suggest that declining unemployment figures may not mirror a resilient economy. The rising cost of living seems to be the driving force behind increased labor force participation, particularly among youths. This doesn't necessarily indicate a robust economy but rather a response to the necessity of securing any available employment, even at lower wages.

Economic Growth and Wage Dynamics
Modest economic growth and a rising labor force participation rate may result in stagnant wages. Progressive wage models expected in 2025 or 2026 could impact salary dynamics, and targeted subsidies might influence employment but not necessarily wages across the board.

The labor market, as predicted by experts, may remain relatively subdued in the early part of 2024, reflecting the need to support household incomes more than substantial economic growth.

Expert Insights and Forecasts
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) forecasts a return to pre-pandemic unemployment levels at 3.4% in 2024, driven by anticipated economic growth and increased labor demand. An additional forecast by MIDF Research where they expect the average jobless rate to be 3.4% in 2024, citing a strengthening labor market backed by domestic economic momentum and external trade recovery. Meanwhile SG-UOB Global Economics & Markets Study predicts stable unemployment at 3.3% in 2024, supported by local and foreign investments, though cautioning against potential hiring slowdowns due to external challenges.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
Despite positive outlooks, challenges persist. Concerns about a global economic slowdown, weaker external trade recovery, and fluctuations in commodity prices could impact Malaysia's labor market.

While the return of non-citizen workers is anticipated to boost employment, the job landscape remains dynamic. Persistent issues include stagnant youth unemployment, the rise of informal jobs, and the need to adapt to the changing preferences of the digital-savvy youth.

Navigating a Complex Employment Landscape
As Malaysia progresses through 2024, the employment landscape remains intricate. While unemployment rates are forecasted to improve, underlying challenges such as wage stagnation, youth employment dynamics, and global economic uncertainties persist. Policymakers, businesses, and individuals need to adapt to this nuanced environment, fostering a resilient and inclusive economy that addresses the diverse needs of the workforce.

Looking to Hire?

Please fill in this Inquiry Form — our Recruitment Consultants will be in touch with you soon!


The information provided in our blog articles is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. 

While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the ever-evolving nature of certain topics may result in content becoming outdated or inaccurate over time. Therefore, we recommend consulting with qualified professionals or experts in the respective fields for specific advice or guidance. Any actions taken based on the information contained in our blog articles are solely at the reader's discretion and risk. We do not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, or adverse consequences incurred as a result of such actions.

We may occasionally provide links to external websites or resources for further information or reference. These links are provided for convenience and do not imply endorsement or responsibility for the content or accuracy of these external sources. Our blog articles may also include personal opinions, views, or interpretations of the authors, which do not necessarily reflect the views of our organisation as a whole. We encourage readers to verify the accuracy and relevance of information presented in our blog articles and to seek professional advice when needed. 

Your use of this website and its content constitutes acceptance of this disclaimer.

Reference links: