PUTRAJAYA, Dec 13 — The number of local graduates increased by 350,000 last year, to 4.96 million people compared to 4.61 million in 2017, with the number of female graduates being marginally higher, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said.

In unveiling the department’s 2018 Graduate Statistics today, chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that labour force participation for graduates stood at 83.6 per cent, encompassing 4.15 million people.

“Out of this, employed graduates were 3.99 million people, an increase of 8.2 per cent from 3.69 million in 2017.

“Overall, the number of female graduates in 2018 was marginally higher than males, recording a percentage share of 50.4 per cent or 2.01 million persons. From the viewpoint of age groups, graduates in younger age cohorts of 34 years and below, were predominantly female,” Mohd Uzir said.


He added that on the contrary, employed graduates from older age groups of 35 years-old and above were made up of more males aged between 35 and 44 years-old, accounting for 51.8 per cent, while those aged 35-years-old and above made up 58.9 per cent.

Mohd Uzir said that most of the graduates; 2.9 million people, were employed in the skilled category (73.8) per cent, while employed graduates in the semi-skilled category comprised 998,200 (25 per cent).

“Looking at the distribution of employed graduates by economic activity, more than two-thirds (79.7 per cent) were concentrated in the services sector,” he added.


Graduate unemployment rate “slightly” lower, most unemployed for less than six months.

In unveiling the first report of its kind for DOSM, Mohd Uzir said that the graduate unemployment rate had also slightly dipped to 3.9 per cent, compared to 4 per cent in 2017, with the number of unemployed graduates totalling 162,000 people in 2018.

He said that more than 70 per cent of unemployed graduates were actively seeking jobs, and are available for hire.

“A total of 70.7 per cent of graduates were unemployed for a duration of less than six months, followed by 11.9 per cent who were unemployed between six months and less than a year.

“Long term unemployment, that is those who were unemployed for a period of over a year, accounted for 8.4 per cent,” he added.

Mohd Uzir said that 16.4 per cent, or 811,800 graduates, were outside of the labour force.

“It was observed that 34.5 per cent (were outside the labour force) due to housework or family responsibility,” he said, adding that those who were studying or attending training programmes, made up 30.5 per cent, followed by 27.8 per cent who retired, or left work due to old age.

He said that the DOSM’s Salaries and ages Survey 2018 showed that median monthly salaries of graduates with full-time equivalent principal occupations, was RM3,936, compared to RM3,550 last year.

Mohd Uzir said that employed graduates in the skilled category earned RM4,684 while semi-skilled category workers received RM2,139, last year.