In the first quarter of 2021, a majority of businesses in Malaysia expected their headcount to remain the same, revealed the latest data from the Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM).

The recently released Business Tendency Statistics First Quarter 2021 showed that in Q1 2021, 75.9% of businesses expected their workforce numbers to remain the same. This is despite the nation recording a net balance of -7.3%  when it comes to the number of employees. 

The data revealed that 8.4% of establishments predicted to increase their workforce, while 15.7% intended to reduce their workforce in Q1 2021.

Overall, businesses across the nation are forecasting challenging business performance in Q1 2021, registering a quarterly confidence indicator of -11.3%, as compared to -10.8% in the last quarter. 

Among the four sectors covered, the Industry sector expected a better performance in the first quarter of 2021, as compared to the previous quarter, although the sentiment was still pessimistic - from -4.4% against -7.5% in the previous quarter.

The other three sectors - Services, Wholesale & Retail Trade, and Construction - predicted decreases in the first quarter of 2021, at -15.0%, -11.8% and -51.2% compared to -12.2%, -8.7% in and -39.1% the last quarter respectively.

When it comes to gross revenue, 25.5% of businesses predicted their gross revenue to increase in the first quarter of 2021 whilst 36.5% expected a reduction which further led to a net balance of -10.9%. At the same time, 38.0% of respondents anticipated their gross revenue to remain the same.

Separately, TalentCorp Malaysia revealed in a Facebook post that as of 25 February, a total of 9,210 vacancies have been recorded by the MYFutureJobs portal. 

Across the various states, Selangor recorded the highest number of vacancies, at 3,047, followed by Johor with 2,588 vacancies and Kuala Lumpur with 1,037 vacancies. 

As of 25 February, as many as 25,142 individuals have gained jobs while 13,816 employees have lost their jobs, as reported to PERKESO.

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Quarterly confidence indicator by sector, Malaysia, 2019-2021

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Expected net balance of gross revenue and number of employees, 2019-2021

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Net balance of business performance expectation for the upcoming six months by sector, Malaysia, 2018-2021

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Lead photo / 123RF

Infographics / Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM)

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