Employment by economic sector in Malaysia 2019

The services sector dominated Malaysia’s employment in 2019, with almost 62 percent of the labor force working in that sector. The industrial sector held 27 percent of workers, close to the ten-year average. Agricultural employment was down to below 11 percent, a decrease from 2007 that was absorbed by the services sector.

Employment sector and productivity

Comparing the share of employment to gross domestic product (GDP) in each sector, one can see that the industrial sector is most productive per worker in terms of output. This suggests that Malaysia should continue to invest in its industry and focus on increasing its trade surplus, for example.

Regional context

Malaysia is part of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. While this bloc has a varied level of development as shown by GDP per capita, the overall level of economic growth in the region has been impressive in the past few decades. The increase in the number of internet users furthers Malaysia’s connection to both the regional and global economy. This suggests that the composition of Malaysia’s economy will continue to evolve in the coming years.

Malaysia: Distribution of employment by economic sector from 2009 to 2019

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

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Statistics on "Malaysia"

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