PETALING JAYA: There were 5.92 million fresh graduates in Malaysia last year, marking a substantial 5.1% increase compared to 2021, according to the statistics department.
Chief Statistician Uzir Mahidin also said the unemployment rate among graduates dropped by 3.7% in 2022 to 187,800, compared with 4.1% the year before.
Of the total number of graduates produced last year, he said, 5.06 million or 85.4% joined the labour force.
About two-thirds of them, or 3.19 million, were employed in skilled professions, with the rest mostly taking up semi-skilled jobs.
“Graduates in the semi-skilled category, which accounted for 32.8% (1.6 million) were largely employed as service and sales workers (14%), followed by clerical support workers (10.7%) and craft and related trade workers (4.9%).
“The remaining 1.6% (78,100) were employed in low-skilled sectors, a decrease of 23.1% compared to the previous year,” he said in a statement.
However, Uzir said the number of graduates in skill-related underemployment rose by 7.9% last year to 1.68 million, compared to 1.55 million in the preceding year.
“Nevertheless, skill-related underemployment is not an isolated issue faced by Malaysia. In fact, approximately one-third of employment in advanced economies such as Australia, the US and the UK are skill-related underemployed for the period between 2019 and 2022.
“Statistics in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) database also indicate that this rate continued to increase in these countries.”
Uzir said graduates received higher wages last year compared to 2021, with the median monthly salary for full-time workers standing at RM4,128.
However, he said, this is still below the median monthly salary graduates received before the Covid-19 pandemic.