In the third quarter of 2019, Malaysia’s labour productivity by hours worked grew by 2.6% - up from the 2.4% growth registered in the preceding quarter - while hours worked increased 1.7% against 2.4% in Q2 2019.

This was according to the latest statistics released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). The Labour Productivity of Third Quarter 2019 statistics also revealed that employment sustained at 2.1%, while labour productivity (by employment) grew by 2.3%.

Additionally during this quarter, Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) posted a growth of 4.4% (Q2 2019: 4.9%).

The most productive sectors in Malaysia 


The services sector recorded the highest growth of labour productivity, both by hours worked (2.9%) and by employment (2.7%).

The largest contributor to this was real estate & business services (5.8%), followed by transportation & storage (3.9%), utilities (3.3%), and wholesale & retail trade (3.3%).


Same as the services sector, the manufacturing sector posted a 2.9% growth of labour productivity, by hours worked.

However, the sector lost out when it came to productivity by employment, with a modest 1.6% growth.

The highest growth of labour productivity were registered by transport equipment, other manufacturing & repair (5.6%), followed by wood products, furniture, paper products & printing (5.2%), beverages & tobacco products (4.2%), and petroleum, chemical, rubber & plastics products (4.1%).


Agriculture sector registered a 1.8% growth of labour productivity by hours worked. The value added of this sector rose by 3.7% while hours worked remained at 1.9%. Meanwhile, labour productivity by employment posted a growth of 2.0% as employment increased by 1.7%.


The growth of labour productivity by hours worked for the construction sector came in at 1.6%.

The value added of this sector registered a marginal declined of 1.5% while hours worked continue to decline, recording a negative growth of 3.1%. In terms of labour productivity by employment, this sector recorded a growth of 2.1% as employment in this sector declined by a further 3.5%.

Mining and Quarrying

Labour productivity by hours worked for mining and quarrying sector continued to decline, recording a negative growth of 3.4%. The value added of this sector contracted by 4.3%while hours worked decreased 1.0%. Measuring labour productivity by value added per employment, this sector recorded a negative growth of 5.4% while employment increased 1.1%.

Infographic / DOSM Lead image / 123RF