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Median monthly salaries & wages in 2020 decrease 15.6 per cent to RM2,062
Labour force in Malaysia increased 0.6% to 15.7 million persons in 2020
Female LFPR recorded at 55.3 per cent in 2020

Graduates Statistics 2019

Release Date : Thursday 16, July 2020 1200


This report presents statistics on graduates for the period of 2016 to 2019. The statistics was based on compilation of various data sources namely Labour Force Survey, Higher Education Statistics and Graduate Tracers Study. In this report, graduates are defined as individuals aged 15 years and over with the highest certificate obtained from universities, colleges, polytechnics, recognised bodies or equivalent, in which the duration of study is at least two years. Graduates are classified into two categories of certification namely Diploma and Degree.

Graduates’ salaries & wages statistics are also presented in this report to provide information on their earnings in Malaysia. This statistic is produced based on Salaries & Wages Survey which collect information of monthly salaries & wages for full-time equivalent principal occupation of paid employees.

This report provides disaggregation by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of age group, sex, ethnic group, the highest certificate obtained, strata, state, occupation, status in employment, skill level and economic activity.

Principal Statistics of Graduates

The number of graduates in Malaysia was 5.29 million persons in 2019, increased 6.9 per cent from 4.94 million persons in 2018 as shown in Chart 1. In the meantime, graduates in the labour force went up 6.8 per cent to 4.42 million persons (2018: 4.14 million persons). Graduates labour force participation rate (GLFPR) was 83.5 per cent, decreased 0.1 percentage point as against 83.6 per cent in 2018.   

Out of total graduates in the labour force, 96.1 per cent (4.25 million persons) were employed, increased 6.9 per cent from 3.97 million persons in 2018. Meanwhile, graduates unemployment rate remained at 3.9 per cent (170.3 thousand persons). In addition, graduates outside labour force rose 7.6 per cent to 871.4 thousand persons (2018: 808.5 thousand persons).

Chart 1: Principal statistics of graduates, Malaysia, 2019 (‘000)


Employed Graduates Statistics

In 2019, number of employed graduates was 4.25 million persons, increased 6.9 per cent from 2018 (3.97 million persons). Employed graduates by skill levels shown that skilled category accounted for 73.3 per cent (3.11 million persons) in 2019 and the highest percentage share was in Professionals occupation category with 45.1 per cent (1.91 million persons) followed by Technicians and associate professionals at 18.6 per cent (791.9 thousand persons).

Additionally, graduates who were employed in semi-skilled category comprised of 25.6 per cent (1.09 million persons). Out of this category, Clerical support workers and Services and sales workers contributed 10.1 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively. This was followed by Craft and related trades workers at 3.0 per cent (129.2 thousand persons). The remaining of 1.1 per cent were employed in low-skilled category (47.9 thousand persons).

From the economic activity perspective, graduates were largely employed in Services sector with a share of 79.6 per cent (3.38 million persons). In addition, Manufacturing and Construction sectors contributed 12.7 per cent (538.6 thousand persons) and 5.3 per cent (226.1 thousand persons) respectively. Employed graduates in Agriculture sector comprised of 1.4 per cent (57.6 thousand persons) while Mining & Quarrying sector comprised of 1.0 per cent (43.2 thousand persons).

Unemployed Graduates Statistics

The number of unemployed graduates in 2019 was 170.3 thousand persons, increased 5.5 per cent (2018: 161.3 thousand persons). Active unemployed graduates accounted for 74.8 per cent (127.4 thousand persons) to the total unemployed graduates. More than half of active unemployed graduates were unemployed less than three months which was 51.6 per cent (65.7 thousand persons) while 29.5 per cent (37.5 thousand persons) of them were unemployed within three months and less than six months. On the other hand, 10.9 per cent (13.9 thousand persons) of them were unemployed within six months and less than a year whereas another 8.1 per cent (10.3 thousand persons) were unemployed more than a year.

Meanwhile, inactive unemployed graduates comprised of 25.2 per cent (42.8 thousand persons) of the overall unemployed graduates.

Graduates Outside Labour Force Statistics

The number of graduates outside labour force in 2019 was 869.8 thousand persons, increased 7.6 per cent (2018: 808.5 thousand persons). Housework/ family responsibilities was the most significant reasons for graduates outside labour force which accounted for 36.8 per cent (319.9 thousand persons) in 2019 followed by retired/ old age at 30.0 per cent (260.7 thousand persons), schooling/ training programme at 27.6 per cent (239.9 thousand persons) and graduates who were not interested/ just complete study at 3.3 per cent (28.4 thousand persons).

In the meantime, the percentage share of going for further studies was 1.0 per cent (8.6 thousand persons) and disabled at 1.4 per cent (12.4 thousand persons).


The detailed information and technical notes are published in the publication of Graduates Statistics, 2019. This publication is accessible and downloadable free of charge through the eStatistik application in DOSM web page, www.dosm.gov.my.




Released By:

 DrUzir_Mahidin    Dr_Uzir

16 July 2020


Contact person:

Mohd Yusrizal Ab Razak
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : yusrizal.razak[at]dosm.gov.my

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