PETALING JAYA: A total of 1.8 million new jobs have been created since the launch of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) in 2010, the ETP 2014 annual report said.
Of this, 1.5 million jobs were employment opportunities stemming from the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) implementation. The ETP plans for the creation of 3.3 million new jobs by 2020.
The report said the unemployment rate had fallen to 3% of the workforce as at last December from 3.7% in 2009.
“For Malaysia’s total labour force of 14.18 million, 13.75 million of our workers are employed,” it added.
Concurrent with the creation of jobs, the ETP also focused in uplifted gross national income (GNI) per capita with the NKEAs being the main contributors to the GNI strategy.
The report said GNI per capita had been on the uptrend since the launch of the ETP in 2010, growing 47.7% to US$10,426 at the end of 2014 from US$7,059 in 2009.
The rising private consumption trend would be another area that bore testimony to the effectiveness of the ETP, with the trend remaining strong in stable labour market conditions, wage growth and private investment activities.
Consumption now accounts for 65.7% of gross domestic product (GDP).
“NKEAs under the ETP were conceived to create greater competitiveness in economic sectors that could potentially drive up contribution to GNI,” it said, adding that this was the reason for the choice of the 12 NKEAs.
These sectors have also helped to diversify the economy, making it more resilient and better able to weather external shocks such as low commodity prices.
As of last year, NKEAs contributed 68% of the total GNI.
From a broader point of view, the report highlighted that Malaysia’s GDP growth of 6% last year was enviable, given the landscape in which advanced economies continue to struggle, with the global economy not having touched 4% growth since 2007.
“Bolstered by strong domestic demand, we achieved a formidable 6% GDP growth in 2014.
“For 2014, our GDP expansion extended beyond the expectations of economists as well as the World Bank, which forecasts a 5.7% GDP growth for the year,” it said, adding that the Malaysian economy had also charted growth in a low-inflation rate environment since 2010.
The report also noted that Malaysia remained the largest Asean fund-raising destination for the second straight year, raising RM22.7bil through initial public offerings as well as secondary offerings.
“This serves to indicate not only investor confidence in the Malaysian economy but also our market’s competitiveness within the region,” it said.