A Profile of the Malaysian Labour Markets



This chapter reviews the broad structure of Malaysian labour markets and highlights some recent developments.1 Structural and institutional factors, as well as recent history, play important roles in determining labour market performance. While this chapter is essentially descriptive, it both highlights the areas where major policy issues arise and offers some initial insights into issues such as flexibility and adaptability which are taken up in more detail in subsequent chapters.2 Section 1 is concerned with the labour force, its size, trends in its components and simple forecasts of its future size and structure. Section 2 looks at facts and issues related to internal and international migration. Section 3 focuses more closely on employment, examining its sectoral, occupational and demographic patterns. Section 4 does the same for wages and earnings, examining in addition patterns of earnings for individuals as revealed by econometric estimates of earnings functions. Section 5 provides a profile of unemployment while sections 6 and 7 examine the related questions of labour market institutions and labour market flexibility. Section 8 concentrates on sources of household income, an important topic to be considered when formulating policies aimed at income redistribution and the elimination of identification of race with economic function.


Labour Market Labour Force Unemployment Rate Labour Force Participation Foreign Worker 
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Copyright information

© Robert E. B. Lucas and Donald Verry 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boston UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University College LondonUK

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