According to the latest study carried out by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), they revealed that the number of unemployed graduates had rose 22.5% last year to 202,400 from 165,200 in 2019.
DOSM chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that the unemployment among fresh graduates are mainly caused by the unfavourable economic environment in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia.
As a result of the stiff competition in the labour market, there are many unemployed people left scouting the job market.
“There were 5.36 million graduates in 2020 (up 4.5% from 5.13 million graduates in 2019). The increase in the number of graduates over the years was concomitant with awareness of the importance of higher education to improve livelihoods. Upon completion of tertiary education, graduates usually aim to secure jobs equivalent to their qualification and subsequently earn higher wages and all the perks that come with it.”
“However, the challenging labour market condition as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in fewer job openings and increased competition.” Mohd Uzir said in the statement.
In addition, he said that the unemployment rate had increased from 3.9% in 2019 to 4.4% in 2020. He also mentioned that more than 75% of the unemployed graduates were actively seeking work, whereby almost half were unemployed for less than three months.
The report defined graduates as individuals with the highest certificate obtained from universities, colleges, polytechnics, recognised bodies or equivalent, with the study duration of at least two years.
Further analysing the data they have collected, Mohd Uzir said that among the 4.35 million graduates last year, around 68.8% of them were in the skilled occupation category and this number had decreased by 0.8% from 2019.
“The decrease was seen in the occupation categories of professional, as well as technician and associate professional.” he added.
While being compared to other categories, semi-skilled category gained 19.3% of employed graduates, particularly in the occupation categories of service and sales workers, and plant and machine operators and assemblers. Hence, the composition of employed graduates in the semi-skilled category increased to 28.9% versus 25.6% in the previous year.
Meanwhile, 2.3% of employed graduates were in the low-skilled occupation category.
On the other hand, there were more than 75% or 3.37 million graduates were employed in the services sector, followed by 14.6% in the manufacturing sector last year.
Read the full report from DOSM here.