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.