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Employment levels in Malaysia rebound in Q3 2017

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Malaysia’s businesses have remained marginally optimistic in Q3 2017. According to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Malaysia’s Business Optimism Index (BOI) study, overall BOI increased to +3.40 percentage points, up from +3.07 percentage points in Q2 2017.

However, on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, BOI was found to ease from +4.42 percentage points in Q3 2016 to +3.40 percentage points in Q3 2017.

The BOI study takes into account six business indicators (volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory level, employees and new orders) in eight sectors (agricultural, construction, finance, manufacturing, mining, services, transportation, and wholesale).

Employment levels have increased to +3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017 from -0.49 percentage points in Q2 2017 and +3.0 percentage points in Q3 2016.

Zooming in on the employment outlook in each sector, the most optimistic were the transportation sector (net +9.52 percentage points), the manufacturing sector (net +7.69 percentage points), the finance sector (net +5.88 percentage points) and the services sector (net +5.13 percentage points).

The agricultural sector has expected employment to remain unchanged. While the remaining sectors were pessimistic about employment levels. These include the wholesale sector (net -5.0 percentage points), construction sector (-11.11 percentage points) and mining sector (net -25.0 percentage points).

READ MORE: 4,716 youth in Malaysia found employment through the Sabah Job Centre

According to D&B Malaysia, on a quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) basis, half of the indicators have moderated upwards, these include:

  • Employment levels – which have rebounded into the expansionary zone from -0.49 percentage points in Q2 2017 to +3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017.
  • Volume of sales – which rose from +2.99 percentage points in Q2 2017 to +3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017.
  • New orders – which rose from +3.48 percentage points in Q2 2017 to +8.74 percentage points in Q3 2017.

While indicators which have moderated downwards included:

  • Net profits – which moderated downwards from -3.48 percentage points in Q2 2017 to -3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017.
  • Selling price – which tumbled from +10.95 percentage points in Q2 2017 to +2.91 percentage points in Q3 2017.
  • Inventory levels – which have moderated downwards from +4.98 percentage points in Q2 2017 to +4.85 percentage points in Q3 2017.

Similarly, on a y-o-y basis, three of six business indicators have improved for Q3 2017. These included employment levels (+3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017, up from +3.0 in Q3 2016), selling price (+2.91 percentage points in Q3 2017, up from +0.5 in Q3 2016), and inventory levels (+4.85 percentage points in Q3 2017, up from +1.5 in Q3 2016).

On the other hand, business indicators which dropped included volume of sales (+3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017, down from +6.0 in Q3 2016), new orders (+8.74 percentage points in Q3 2017, down from +9.0 in Q3 2016), and net profits (-3.88 percentage points in Q3 2017, down from +6.50 in Q3 2016).

ALSO READ: Bank Negara Malaysia: Youth unemployment rate up by 1.2 percentage points

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