Malaysia ranks 19th globally on the Total Workforce Index

Malaysia ranks 19th globally on the Total Workforce Index

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ManpowerGroup Solution's latest Total Workforce Index (TWI) has ranked Malaysia as the 19th most favourable country for business based on productivity, cost efficiency, regulation and skills availability.

In Asia Pacific, Malaysia ranked 7th on the TWI. At the same time, it ranked 25th on the Permanent Workforce Index Ranking and 14th on the Contingent Workforce Index Ranking, whereby the informal workforce currently comprises 26% of the total workforce.

The TWI analysed 75 markets for more than 90 factors, evaluating the four indicators above in both labour types of permanent and contingent labour. Hong Kong was ranked first globally, followed by New Zealand and Singapore in the top three.


Malaysia's scoring for each indicator is as follows:


Currently, Malaysia's total workforce is at 15.44 million, of which 25% are contingent and 72% are permanent. By generation in the total workforce, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1965)  make up 15%; Generation X (born between 1966 and 1975) make up 12%; Generation Y (born between 1976 and 1995) make up 35% and others make up 38%.


As with last year, subcontraction is allowed in Malaysia, and there is no maximum tenure for a single-term contract. In terms of openness of visa policies, Malaysia ranks 16th globally. At the same time, the country ranks 24th for ease of doing business.

Cost efficiency

The reported cost of doing business in Malaysia is at 5.4% of the country's Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. Equal pay for equal work is currently not mandated, and the average monthly wage in the country is US$713.


The average work week in Malaysia comprises 48 hours, versus an average of 41.9 hours in the region. However, the average work day is made up of eight hours, on par with the regional average. Further, labour market efficiency is at 4.72, slightly higher than the region's at 4.63.



Where Singapore and Hong Kong stand on the TWI

Outside of Malaysia, Hong Kong ranked 1st on the TWI while Singapore came in 3rd.

Each of the two countries' scoring on the indicators are as follows:


Singapore: The total workforce is 3.27 million, of which the contingent workforce makes up 14% and the permanent workforce makes up 84%.

Hong Kong: The city-state's total workforce is 3.98 million, with 9% being the contingent workforce and 88% being permanent.


In both Singapore and Hong Kong, subcontracting is allowed, but there is no maximum tenure for a single-term contract.

As for the openness of visa policies, Singapore ranked 16th globally while Hong Kong ranked 20th. In terms of ease of doing business, Singapore ranked 2nd and Hong Kong ranked 3rd.

Cost efficiency

The reported cost of doing business in Singapore is 0.50% of the country's GNI per capita, while it is 1.10% in Hong Kong. Further, equal pay for equal work is not mandated in both countries.

In Hong Kong, the average monthly wage is US$2,016 while in Singapore, it is US,4263.


The average work week hours in Singapore is 44, higher than that of Hong Kong's at 40 hours and the regional average of 41.9 hours. However, both countries are on par with the regional average work day, of eight hours.

Lastly, labour market efficiency in Singapore is 5.79 (regional average: 4.63) but is not applicable to Hong Kong.

View the methodology of the study here.

Lead photo and Infographics / ManpowerGroup Solutions

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