The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the employment market.
This is evident by the number of graduates left without a job last year.
Tough time for graduates
The number of unemployed graduates in the country has increased, no thanks to an unfavourable economic environment last year, Bernama
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin revealed that in 2019, the number of unemployed graduates was 165,200.
That number rose to 202,400 in 2020.
Quoting data released by the Statistics Department (DOSM), he said the graduate unemployment rate for 2020 went up by 0.5 percentage points to 4.4 per cent, compared to 3.9 per cent the previous year.
"More than 75 per cent of unemployed graduates were actively seeking work whereby almost half were unemployed for less than three months," he said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
As for employed graduates, Mohd Uzir said more than two-third (68.8 per cent) of 4.35 million employed graduates in 2020 were in the skilled occupation category, which saw a decrease of 0.8 per cent compared to 2019.
Meanwhile, he said the semi-skilled category gained 19.3 per cent of employed graduates in 2020, particularly in the occupation categories of service and sales workers, plant and machine operators and assemblers.
"Those in semi-skilled and low-skilled categories were classified as skill-related underemployment since they were taking up jobs that did not match their level of qualifications," he was quoted as saying.
Also, he said more than 75 per cent were employed in the services sector followed by 14.6 percent in the manufacturing sector.
Decrease in salaries too
When it comes to wages, the numbers didn't look so good too.
Mohd Uzir revealed based on data from the 2020 Salary and Wage Survey by DOSM that a full time graduate's monthly mean salaries and wages decreased 10.6 per cent to RM4,489, compared to RM5,020 in 2019.
Degree holders earned a mean salary of RM5,471 per month in 2020, which is 9.1 per cent lower compared to 2019.
Diploma holders, meanwhile, also saw a drop in their monthly mean salaries in 2020 - a drop of 11.5 per cent to RM3,311.