Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA)
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Soalan Lazim

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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ILMIA Survey

ILMIA will, on a best efforts basis, keep a record of surveys covering the labour market in Malaysia. Descriptions of all ILMIA surveys, viz NER, Wage Index, Labour Costs, Environmental Scans, etc. and others conducted by MOHR departments and agencies will be the core components. Surveys and studies of other government agencies and private organizations that have agreements with ILMIA for sharing data and information through the LMIDW platform will also form part of the material provided here. All other surveys will be captured and where information is available, links provided.



ILMIA has been conducting the National Employment Returns (NER) surveys since 2007. The current NER survey, replaced a previous survey called The Annual Employment Return (AER). NER is conducted among registered firms and employers in Malaysia, usually on a two-year cycle. Besides providing an insight into the labour market in Malaysia, the NER is a useful tool that serves to identify emerging trends in salary/wages and contributes to developing policies relating to human resource development.

Click here to enter the NER 2018 survey page.



A project to develop a national wage index (NWI) has been commissioned by ILMIA to meet the initiative set out in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (RMK11). The NWI will measure changes of wages and salaries in the Malaysian labour market, with details by major MASCO job categories and by MISC economic sectors, together with other socio-economic information. NWI survey has been conducted beginning in the quarter ending September 2016 and scheduled to be finish in the mid of 2018.


Others Survey

ILMIA is giving opportunity to other government agencies and private organizations to promote their ongoing survey which related to labour market, following respective sharing arrangements. For those who are interested in collaborating, please let us know.