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M’sians Earned Less On Average In 2020 As Mean, Median Salaries Fell For The First Time Since

Since the pandemic began last year, we saw many businesses shutting down, people losing their jobs or having to accept pay cuts just to keep their job. So it’s probably not surprising to find that for the first time since 2010, Malaysia recorded a drop in Malaysians’ mean and median monthly salaries in 2020.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), Malaysians’ median monthly salaries/wages in 2020 saw a 15.6% decline to RM2,062, as compared to RM2,442 in 2019. For reference, this figure sets us back to 2016, when the median wages were recorded at RM2,000. Of course, we didn’t have a pandemic back then to make things more challenging.

On average, Malaysians were making RM2,933 a month in 2020, which is once again, a drop from 2019’s RM3,224.

Mean monthly salaries & wages fell 9.0% in 2020, the first time decline since the series began in 2010.#StatsMalaysia#MyCensus2020#MenghitungMalaysia#DataAndaMasaDepanKita#PastikanAndaDibanci#ARC2021 pic.twitter.com/oqDq8SVcLl — DOSM (@StatsMalaysia) July 14, 2021

The drop in mean and median monthly wages seemed to affect Malaysians across all industries regardless of their gender, ethnicity, education level, skill level, urban or rural location, and age (except those between 40-44 years old who saw their median monthly salaries increasing in 2020).

Of course, this isn’t exactly out of the blue considering the rocky year we had in 2020. But it’s also worth noting that while average Malaysians were struggling with unemployment and low salaries, the number of Malaysian billionaires had increased, and so did their net worth.

Meanwhile, the country’s top bankers also got to receive their annual increments and up to millions in salary bonuses last year, so maybe 2020 wasn’t a terrible year for all Malaysians after all.

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