KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – Malaysia was home to around 2.2 million foreign workers in 2017, with most of them hired in the agriculture and construction sectors, according to a report.
‘The State of Households 2018: Different Realities’ report published by Khazanah Research Institute noted that last year the two sectors employed 40.5 per cent of all foreign workers, although a sizeable number of them – at 35.9 per cent – were employed in services while the remaining 23 per cent in manufacturing.
“However, it is important to note that the official statistics exclude workers in communal housing, therefore possibly undercounting the number of foreign workers in agriculture,” it said.
The report was officially launched by Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan today.
According to the study, the Malaysian labour force was about 10.6 million strong in 2010 but grew to 12.7 million in 2017. The foreign labour force stood at about 1.7 million in 2010.
Of the 12.7 million Malaysians in the labour force last year, 12.2 million were employed while almost all foreigners in the labour force were employed.
The report highlighted that from 2010 to 2017, the number of Malaysians in the labour force with tertiary education increased by about 1.3 million while those with secondary education increased by 1.2 million.
There was a decrease of about 438,000 Malaysians with primary education in the labour force over the same period.
Providing data for 2015, the report said that Indonesians remained the largest group of foreign workers at 39.2 per cent, followed by Nepalese (23.5 per cent) and Bangladeshis (13.2 per cent). – BERNAMA