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Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA)
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What is the function of ILMIA?

ILMIA serves as an information centre for labour data and analysis for the Malaysian labour market. At ILMIA, we are responsible for ensuring that data is accurate and up to date as well as facilitating data sharing with users. ILMIA is also the agency responsible for conducting research / studies on the labour market in Malaysia. The results of these studies will be published and used as a guide for policy-making relating to national labour.

What kind of data can be obtained from ILMIA?

Among the data that are available are data on key labour market indicators, supply and demand by economic sectors and NKEAs, average wage according to sectors, and skills by occupation.

Who uses ILMIA Portal?

ILMIA aims to inform users that are government, independent researchers, self-employed and employers, employees, students and public. The ILMIA portal can be used by all categories of user and strives to use language that is simple, non-technical and easily understood by all.

From where does ILMIA source the data that it analyses?

Data sources are obtained principally from several government agencies such as the Department of Statistics, Ministry of Education, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Economic Planning Unit, Ministry of Human Resources and others, including the private sector if made available.

What is the difference between the terms 'Labour Force' and 'Workforce'?

The term 'labour force' refers to all people in Malaysia aged between 15 and 64 years who are at work or unemployed. The 'Workforce' is another category which includes those who do any work for pay, profit or family gain (whether as employer, employee, self-employed or unpaid family worker).

What is the definition of 'Unemployment' and the 'Unemployment Rate'?

  • 'Unemployment' means the population aged between 15 and 64 years in the labour force category who are willing to, and actively looking for, work.
  • 'Unemployment rate' means the number of unemployed compared to the total labour force expressed as a percentage.

What is meant by 'Outside The Labour Force' and how does it differ from unemployment?

'Outside the labour force' refers to those who are not classified as employed or unemployed, such as housewives, students, retirees and those not interested in finding employment. Unemployed, on the other hand, means those who have yet to get a job but are willing to, and actively seeking, work.

Is the unemployment rate in Malaysia better than in other countries?

Overall, the unemployment rate in Malaysia is on average 3.4% (2016). This rate is lower than that in Australia (5.8%) and Brazil (5.6%). Malaysia's unemployment rate is basically stable and some would consider that full employment in the economy has been achieved. Although, in principle, a lower unemployment rate indicates the economy is steady, the unemployment rate will not reduce to zero as there will always be unemployment due to frictions or timing lags, as a result of, for example, employees moving to new jobs or changes in technology.

How can i get hold of books published by ILMIA?

Books and journals published by ILMIA are available online (softcopy) in the publications section. In addition, users can apply in writing or visit ILMIA's office to get printed copies.

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The Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA) as it is known today have humble beginnings. In November 2005, the Cabinet approved the setting up of an independent institute named the National Institute of Labour (INPEK) to undertake and coordinate research and education on labour market and employment issues. INPEK was then renamed the National Institute of Human Resources (ISMK) in 2007. ISMK was to be a national research centre with expertise on human resource planning and development; industrial relations and employment laws; labour market issues and related employment matters. Its work also included providing labour and employment education and training through a series of seminars, workshops, dialogues, conferences and courses. Another founding mission of ISMK was to support government’s human resource development policies and strategies by providing evidence-based inputs on labour and employment issues.

When the New Economic Model (NEM) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) were introduced in 2010, it was highlighted that Malaysia lacked a nationally endorsed, single source of information and analysis about issues on the labour market. This shortcoming was viewed as negatively affecting the nation's efforts to formulate effective human capital development policies which was deemed to be an important prerequisite for attainment of a fully developed high income nation status. On the 19th of April 2011, a Cabinet Workshop considered findings from the Human Capital Development Lab conducted by the Performance Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) which proposed the rebranding of ISMK as the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA). It was decided that effective on May 1 2012, ILMIA is to be an independent, national centre of excellence under the direct purview of the Ministry of Human Resources for the analysis of labour market trends and emerging human capital issues which will contribute to better human capital planning and effective labour market policies formulation.

At its inception in May 2012, the Institute was based in offices of the Ministry of Human Resources in Putrajaya. ILMIA has sinced moved into its current office in Cyberjaya in December 2012.