Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of working graduates has increased by 6.9 percent to 4.25 million people last year, according to Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) 2019 Graduate Statistics.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said of the total number of graduates in the workforce, males accounted for 49.8 percent (2.11 million people) while females accounted for 50.2 percent (2.13 million).

“Looking at the marketability of graduates according to the highest certificate obtained, it was found that graduates with a degree recorded a higher increase of 8.5 percent compared to graduates with a diploma with 4.9 percent.

“In terms of the level of skills, most graduates work in the skilled category, making up 73.3 percent (3.11 million people), according to their qualifications, while graduates working in the semi-skilled category represent 25.6 percent or 1.09 million people in 2019,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

He said in terms of economic activity, 79.6 percent of graduates concentrated in the service sector (3.38 million people) followed by manufacturing (538,600), construction (226,100), agriculture (57,000), and mining and quarrying (43,200).

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the unemployment rate of graduates last year remained at 3.9 percent with 170,300 unemployed graduates, while graduates who were actively looking for jobs was at 74.8 percent (127,400 people).

“Of that number, more than 80 percent were unemployed for less than six months while only 8.1 percent were unemployed for a period of 12 months and more,” he said.

He said the number of graduates in the country was 5.29 million people last year, 21.3 percent of them being in the working-age population and 83.5 percent were in the labour force (4.4 million people).

“Although the majority of graduates were female, the labour force participation rate of female graduates was lower (79.8 percent) than men who recorded a rate of 87.7 percent,” he said.

Mohd Uzir said the number of graduates outside the labour force had increased by 7.6 percent to 869,800 people, comprising 16.5 percent of the total graduates.

“The largest contribution outside the labour force (36.8 percent) is due to housework/family responsibility of 319,900 people … they are seen as a potential group to participate in the labour market.

“In addition, those who retire or the elderly made up 30 percent (260,700 people) of the outside labour force, followed by those still studying or in training programmes at 27.6 percent (239,900 people),” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the 2019 Salary & Wage Survey conducted by DOSM found that the median monthly salaries and wages of graduates with the main full-time job is RM4,371 last year compared to RM3,936 in 2018.

He said graduates working in the skilled category received RM5,175 while those in the semi-skilled category received RM2,300.

Summarising the findings of graduate statistics, he said, “Regarding the skilled category positions that need to be filled by graduates, Quarterly Employment Statistics reports that the vacancy for skilled category positions in formal private sector establishments in 2019 was 2.3 percent with 48,300 vacancies.

“This is much lower than the number of graduates per year which is around 300,000 people … therefore, among the alternative routes to support the entry of new graduates into the labour market can be explored through entrepreneurship by taking advantage of the digital platform revolution.” − Bernama