Malaysia has received the first group of Indonesian migrant workers since reopening its borders, in the hopes of alleviating a severe labour shortage in palm oil plantations.
The world's second-largest palm oil producer is short at least 1.2 million workers across its manufacturing, plantation, and construction sectors, a shortage that is worsening by the day as the economy recovers from the pandemic.
MIDF says the labour market in Malaysia is expected to strengthen further in 2HCY22 underpin by the return of non-citizen worker.
Employment of the workers had declined by -1.8% in 2020 and -2.9% in 2021 which brought to total of more than 100K leaving the workforce due to the pandemic.
Non-citizen worker constitutes about 10% of Malaysia’s working population. Underpin by domestic reopening and strong economic fundamentals,
Malaysia’s unemployment rate is projected to trend lower this year to 3.8% in 2022 from 4.6% in 2021.
However, the projected jobless rate is still higher than pre-pandemic’s 3.4%. Employment growth forecasted at +2.5% (2021: +2.0%) while unemployment to shrink by -15.0% this year (2021: +3.0%).
As of 4MCY22, employment growth at +3.0%yoy and unemployment fell by -12.6%yoy.