Malaysian workers want more money, and if that means extending their daily commute, then that’s what they’ll do.
By Zee Johnson
Last year, Malaysia recorded a dramatic hike in the number of job vacancies across the country. According to data from the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Employment Insurance System (EIS), job vacancies grew by 232.8% to 2,480,577 openings. This is more than double the 2020 number of vacancies, which was 745,304.
In 2021, the largest number of vacancies appeared in industries like the manufacturing industry (603,216), accommodation and food and beverage industry (323,624), and the wholesale industry (249,744). The data also shows that those making RM2,000 or less per month saw the biggest jump in vacancies, accounting for 57.6% of the total.
A large number of the current openings are due to foreign workers returning to their home countries. And with many neighboring country borders now reopen, Malaysian workers, especially those living in Johor, are also heading out to find better opportunities.
Johor Indian Business Association president P.Sivakumar said Malaysian workers are looking to join nearby Singapore’s workforce for a chance at increased compensation and better career opportunities. “Experienced Malaysian workers are in demand in the republic, especially in high-tech industries that offer better career opportunities,” he said. He also advised for Malaysian businesses to not just increase their salary offerings, but to also increase their advancement opportunities for current employees. “Employers in Malaysia need to offer more upskilling and reskilling opportunities to existing employees, especially on new technologies, digitalisation and 5G.”
As of May 2022, the number of job vacancies sits at 375,162.