Factory employee figures up, productivity slips

KUALA LUMPUR: The sales value of Malaysia’s manufacturing sector declined by 3.6% (RM9.2bil) at RM248.7bil in the January-May period this year compared to 2012’s numbers, the Department of Statistics Malaysia reported.

It said the total number of employees in this period went up by 1.3% (12,954 persons) while productivity decreased by 4.8% to RM238,907 per employee.

This May’s sales value declined 2.4%, down to RM50.7bil from RM51.9bil from the same month last year.

It attributed the drop in sales value to slower sales in 58 of the 116 industries surveyed – chiefly in computer and computer peripherals (18.1%), basic iron and steel products (17.6%), refined petroleum product (12.4%), basic industrial chemicals (excepting fertilisers and nitrogen compounds – 11.5%), and semi-conductor devices (3.4%).

Looking at in on a month-on-month basis, however, May’s sales value increased 1.9% (or RM1bil) – or 2.4% when seasonally adjusted.

Employment figures were positive. Total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector in May 2013 was 1,040,924 persons, up 0.1% compared with the preceding month, while on a year-on-year basis, the number of employees increased by 1.3%.

That’s 12,954 more people employed in the sector in May this year compared to May 2012.

Meanwhile the total number of employees in April 2013 has been revised to +1.2% year-on-year at 1,039,648 persons.

Salaries and wages paid out in May 2013 decreased, month-on-month, by 1.7% (RM46.2 million), to register RM2,679.5mil. But this is still an increase of 6.6% (RM165.3 million) compared with the corresponding month in 2012. Average salary and wages per employee was RM2,574, down 1.8% from the previous month but up 5.2% compared with May 2012.

In terms of productivity, average sales value per employee increased month-on-month by 1.7% at RM48,673 from April 2013, but decreased by 3.6% compared with May 2012’s figures.

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