KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 4): The median pay gap between men and women has widened, based on the employee wages statistics report for the first quarter of 2023 (1Q2023) released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) on Friday (Aug 4).
In March 2023, male formal employees, represented by some 3.58 million male workers, earned a monthly median wage of RM2,664, while 2.87 million female employees earned a median monthly wage of RM2,545, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir said.
Despite the disparity, he said wages for both genders grew at 8.1% in 1Q against the same period last year. There was no comparison data available for the year prior.
“The reason behind this comes from the fact that male workers stay in the workforce longer while women exit the workforce at a much faster pace to attend to family commitments and child care. We are trying to get more granular data on this,” Uzir said after the report launch.
Chinese workers earned the highest median monthly wage of RM4,000 in 1Q compared to other ethnic groups.
Indians ranked second with a median monthly wage of RM2,500, followed by Bumiputeras (RM2,200) and other ethnic groups (RM2,000).
“The difference between ethnicity pay gap is due to education level and the kinds of job they land once they go into the private sector,” he said, adding the data to measure salaries by ethnicity was extracted from Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) and the Social Security Organisation (Socso) data.
The chief statistician added that workers aged 40 to 49 earned the highest median monthly wages of RM3,500 in March 2023.
"These groups collectively make up almost 20% of the total number of formal workers," he said.
The median monthly wage starts to decrease for the 50 to 54 age group, to RM3,400. Meanwhile, those aged under 20 received the lowest median monthly wage of RM1,500 as at March 2023, he said.
Sector wise, mining and quarrying is the sector receiving the highest median monthly wage of RM7,500, followed by construction (RM2,764), services (RM2,627), manufacturing (RM2,444) and agriculture (RM1,900).
On a state level, the highest median monthly wages were paid to workers in Kuala Lumpur (RM3,927), followed by Selangor (RM2,964) and Penang (RM2,627).
In contrast, workers in Kelantan had the lowest median monthly wage of RM1,600, followed by Perlis (RM1,627) and Sabah (RM1,782) over the same period.