PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians on average took back RM2,880 a month last year, an increase of 8.1% as compared to 2016.
According to data from the Statistics Department, the average monthly salary was RM2,657 in 2016, which was higher by 6.6% compared to 2015.
In 2017, the median monthly salaries and wages received by employees rose 7.7% per annum to RM2,160 last year from RM2,000 in 2016.
The department’s chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the increase of mean monthly salaries and wages in 2017 was in line with Malaysia’s economic performance.
“Malaysia recorded a growth of 5.9% in 2017, as compared to 4.2% in 2016.
“During the same period, exports registered a strong growth of 20.3% to RM935.5bil,” he said at a briefing on the results of the Salaries and Wages Survey 2017.
On a sectoral basis, the mining and quarrying sector recorded the highest monthly salaries and wages for employees, with a mean of RM5,709 and a median of RM3,700.
Uzir explained that capital-intensive industries like the mining and quarrying sector, particularly oil and gas, employed more high-skilled employees.
“A big chunk of employees in this sector are professionals.
“That is why the mean and median salary is much higher compared to the other sectors,” he said, adding that employees working in capital-intensive industries generally commanded higher mean and median salaries.
Meanwhile, median monthly salaries and wages for both male and female employees in 2017 posted a high growth of 8.2% and 7% to RM2,170 and RM2,145, respectively.
In terms of mean monthly salaries and wages, female employees recorded a higher growth of 9.1% to RM2,772 while male employees recorded 7.5% growth to RM2,954.
The value of median and mean monthly salaries and wages for employees with tertiary education of 3.3 million persons remained high, growing by 3% to RM3,400 and 7.7% to RM4,320.
Apart from that, the growth rate for median monthly salaries and wages of employees in the urban area increased by 6.6% per annum to RM2,260.
In comparison, the median monthly salaries and wages for employees in the rural area grew 3.6% to RM1,400.
The growth of mean monthly salaries and wages of employees in both urban and rural areas was higher at 7.7% to RM3,038 and 6.3% to RM2,040.
The annual survey is conducted through a household approach to collect information of monthly salaries and wages from the principal occupation of paid employees.
It is carried out using probability sampling covering all states in Malaysia.
Salaries and wages refer to the wage rate consisting of the basic wages, cost-of-living allowances and other guaranteed and regularly paid allowances either in cash or in kind (food or lodging), as well as overtime payment.
In this survey, a paid employee is defined as a person who works for at least six hours a day or at least 20 days a month for a public or private employer and receives regular remuneration.
The total number of paid employees in 2017 was 8.7 million.