SMEs in Malaysia are showing positive signs of recovery

This quarter, salaries offered by SMEs have reportedly increased by 1.3%, and employment numbers have increased by 5%.

Small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia are showing positive signs of recovery in the economy, according to BrioHR's SME Employment Index.

Data in the index revealed that salaries have, in fact, increased by 1.3% in the first quarter of the year after showing a drop during the series of COVID-19 lockdowns. In addition, an increase in salary budget is "notable", BrioHR's Co-Founder & CEO, Benjamin Croc, said. Croc believes that these are indicators that SMEs are focused on navigating their way out of the pandemic, and back to growth, and are eager to overcome the manpower scarcity caused by the 'Great Resignation' as well as the pandemic.

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On top of that, data showed a more-than-5% increase in employment numbers in the SME sector in just the first quarter of 2022. This was labelled, in the Index, as "strong growth and an uplift" as it reflected a more-than-4% increase compared to the last quarter of 2021, and a 10% increase compared to over the last six months from October 2021 to March 2022. This is, per the report, a good sign, as it shows the SME sector is "aggressively recovering" from the COVID-19 pandemic, and is taking the required steps to recruit and retain people.

In terms of what the future holds hereon, the report's analysts foresee the demand for skilled workers to remain at "an all-time high" because firms will strive to attract and keep the best and most diverse talent as they embrace the post-pandemic period. Croc, on that note, urged: "With the better economic situation in many locations, employers must frequently examine their current employee value propositions, and look into delivering complete benefits packages that will encourage individuals to work for them in order to retain and recruit these employees".

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