Formal employees in Malaysia see increase in median monthly wages

In March 2023, a formal workforce of 6.45 million saw male employees receive marginally higher salaries than their female counterparts.
By: | August 8, 2023

The median monthly wages for citizen formal employees in Malaysia reached RM2,600 (US$571.18) in March 2023, an 8.3% increase from RM2,400 (US$527.24) in the same period in 2022, according to the Employee Wages Statistics (Formal Sector) Report Q1 2023 by the Department of Statistics (DOSM).

Of the 6.45 million formal employees in March 2023, 55.5% (3.58 million) were male with a median wage of RM2,664 (US$585.24), while 44.5% (2.87 million) were female earning RM2,545 (US$559.09).

When considering the median wage by ethnicity, the report revealed that the Chinese ethnic group claimed the highest median monthly wage at RM4,000 (US$878.73) in March 2023, followed by Indians at RM2,500 (US$549.20), Malays and other races earned median wages of RM2,200 (US$483.30) and RM2,000 (US$439.37), respectively.

Age-wise, formal employees aged 45 to 49 and 40 to 44 commanded the highest median wages at RM3,500 (US$768.89) in March 2023, while the under-20 age group received the lowest median wage of RM1,500 (US$329.53) during the same period.

Analysing wages across economic activities, the mining and quarrying sector, though representing a mere 0.5% of all formal employees, boasted the highest median monthly age at RM7,500 (US$1,647). In contrast, the agriculture sector reported the lowest median wage at RM1,900 (US$417.40).

READ MORE: Elevating wages key component of Malaysia’s new economy plan

Regional disparities were also evident in the report. The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur led the chart with the highest median monthly wages at RM3,927 (US$862.70), trailed by Selangor at RM2,964 (US$651.14) and Penang at RM2,627 (US$577.11). Meanwhile, Kelantan, Perlis, and Sabah recorded the lowest median monthly wages at RM1,600 (US$351.49), RM1,627 (US$357.43), and RM1,782 (US$391.48), respectively, reported New Straits Times.