Pikom’s Malaysian economic and digital job market outlook shows meagre growth in 2021, better outlook in 2022
By Digital News Asia October 6, 2021
- Acceleration in digital adoption via impetus from MyDigital & 5G deployment
- Jobstreet sees greater future need for ‘digital first’ skills & expertise in market
National IT Association of Malaysia’s (Pikom) key research publication this year is renamed “Economic and Digital Job Market Outlook” focusing towards an analysis of the economy, offering a critical review of the digital economy, annual local salary trends for 2021 & 2022, and a regional salary outlook.
At the launch of report today, Pikom Chairman Danny Lee said, “This year’s publication is all the more poignant and has multiple insights for readers, not only on local digital job salary trends but are also benchmarked against eleven economies.”
“The important report provides valuable information for our members and industry at large. Such information offers a critical guide to challenges and opportunities for digital industry players, planners and policy makers in government as we transform to the next stage of the new normal.”
The report, presented by Research Chair Woon Tai Hai, revealed that there are aspects of the market that have grown leaps and bounds e.g. eCommerce, online connectivity infrastructure, digital adoption, digital payment platforms, and certainly in digitalisation of certain services oriented sectors.
“The use of ‘transformation’ for some is perhaps obsolete and instead ‘acceleration’ is more appropriate. Whilst the digital economic contribution to the national economy may have reached the 20% target, set from many years ago, we are of the opinion that this digital journey may be further accelerated and will potentially ‘reshape’ the landscape of the digital industry. Also, MyDigital Blueprint and 5G deployment initiatives will be another set of impetus in driving the industry further,” says Woon.
Pikom has forecasted a GDP growth for 2021 and 2022, albeit a lower growth of 2% to 2.5% for 2021 and a 4.5% to 5% for 2022. It has also reported its outlook on fiscal debt, currency, inflation, interest rates, unemployment rate and commodity prices including the impact to the overall economy.
In terms of salaries, based on data from JobStreet and analysis and estimates by Pikom, there is a clear downward growth trend as early as 2019 to 2020 for the local salary outlook. Salary growth in 2020 was on average 2.2% and the forecast for 2021 is only 0.1% and for 2022 at 2.0% as a direct impact of the pandemic including MCO periods, economic uncertainties and job losses.
In spite of that, the number of jobs advertised remained high, reaching 135,451 in 2020 and 97,909 in 2021 (up to June), according to JobStreet, Malaysia’s leading employment platform and Pikom’s strategic partner in the publication.
JobStreet managing director Vic Sithasanan (pic) advised employees to continuously upskill and reskill in order to stay relevant. “JobStreet foresees that percentages for ‘digital first’ skills and expertise would increase even more due to rising demand for digital tools and processes. Hence, there is an urgent need for people to upskill themselves with knowledge of digital technologies coupled with digital literacy and transferable skills,” he said.
On the regional and global front comparing Malaysian technology salaries with our peers, Malaysia continues to slide with Thailand with a multiple of 1.21 times, Singapore of 1.98 times and USA of 2.10 times. These figures have been adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP).
Apart from MDEC and JobStreet, other partners of the report included AngkasaX, Glocomp, Fusionex, Firmus, Dell, TrendMicro, VSTECS, BDO, Powerware Systems, LGMS, Hitachi Sunway and EKTECH.
Further information can be obtained here including the executive summary.