Cambodia’s Booming Manufacturing Creates 50,000 New Jobs Fueled by GTF

PHNOM PENH: According to the latest report from the World , consistent with improved goods exports, employment in the manufacturing sector is expanded. After some easing in labor market conditions was observed during the first half of 2023, manufacturing jobs started to recover

The manufacturing sector added 50,578 new jobs, reaching 1.058 million (18.1 percent of nonfarm employment) in March 2024 or a 5.0 percent y/y increase, as goods exports accelerated. Employment gains were recorded in most manufacturing industries during the first quarter of 2024.

GTF manufacturing jobs, which account for 83.3 percent of total manufacturing jobs, rose to 0.88 million in March 2024 or a 4.0 percent y/y increase. Of the 0.88 million workers, garment workers accounted for 0.6 million, and travel goods and workers 0.28 million.

However, jobs in the metal processing manufacturing industries, accounting for 6.0 percent of total manufacturing jobs, decreased to 0.06 million, or a 13.3 percent y/y decline. Jobs in the chemical and plastics manufacturing industries, accounting for 2.8 percent of total manufacturing jobs, rose to 0.03 million, or a 63.9 percent y/y increase.

Jobs in the food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing industries, accounting for 2.7 percent of total manufacturing jobs, rose to 0.029 million, or a 7.9 percent y/y increase.

Indicating gradual productivity gains in Cambodia's GTF manufacturing industry before and after the pandemic, jobs in the GTF industries declined by 2.8 percent, decreasing to 0.84 million in 2023, down from 0.87 million in 2019, while the value of GTF exports rose by 2.6 percent, increasing to US$11.1 billion during the same period.

Indicating some gains in industrial diversification, jobs in the non-GTF manufacturing industries rose to 0.2 million, or a 25.9 percent increase during the same period.

Most of the gains are reflected in the metal processing industry, with its employment share increasing to 7.0 percent of total manufacturing jobs, up from 5.5 percent, and in the food, beverage, and tobacco industries, with their job share rising to 2.7 percent, up from 1.8 percent during the same period.

Jobs in the manufacturing sector account for 50 percent of industrial employment, 18.1 percent of nonfarm employment, and 11.6 percent and of total employment.

Given that these industries receive the minimum wage of about US$200 a month, the economic effect created by the gains of 50,578 employed people could be estimated to reach between US$60 million to US$70 million in wages and allowances alone covering October 2023–March 2024.

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