KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Many recent graduates have been struggling to find full-time employment even as official labour statistics show a decrease in joblessness as the country shifts towards Covid-19 endemicity.
According to Utusan Malaysia, this is because fresh graduates are competing with retrenched workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic for limited job opportunities.
Citing statistics from the Human Resources Ministry, the Malay daily today reported that 227,300 people were from the 20-24 age group out of a pool of 711,000 unemployed workers in the country, followed by 160,800 from those aged 25-29.
The paper reported several fresh graduates that have been working part-time to make ends meet while waiting to secure full-time employment.
"Now as a food delivery rider I can earn about RM3,000 a month, while the highest minimum wage offered to graduates of my course is only RM2,000," Amir Zamjury, who holds an automotive diploma, told the Malay daily.
While he plans to land a full-time job, Amir also told Utusan Malaysia that he may further his studies so he can get better pay because the current salary offers are not worth it when cost of living is taken into consideration.
But another interviewee who graduated in 2019. Azmina Nordin told the paper that her degree has not been enough to help her find work in political science, her chosen field of study.
"Even until now I am still at the stage of sending my resume to companies in the hopes of securing full time work," she was quoted as saying.
She has been reportedly taking classes at Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera, hoping that the additional skills will help her score points when she goes for job interviews.
Not all youths who were unemployed were those who had chosen to work, Malaysian Youth Council president Mohd Izzat Afifi Abd Hamid told Utusan Malaysia.
"This issue of unemployment is related to job compatibility issues and problems of work that are in conflict with levels of qualification achieved," he was quoted saying.
Malaysian saw a 69.0 per cent participation in its labour force in January, its highest since before the pandemic.
National news agency Bernama reported Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin saying last month that the number of employed persons went up by 2.2 per cent to register 15.57 million persons compared to the same quarter last year, which recorded 15.24 million persons.
He added that the number of unemployed persons went down by 13.0 per cent to 671,200 persons in the first quarter of 2021, registering 771,800 person.