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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 2018

Release Date : Friday 13, December 2019 1200


This publication presents annual graduates statistics for the period of 2016 to 2018. The statistics were compiled from various data sources mainly Labour Force Survey, Higher Education Statistics and information of Graduate Tracers Study. Graduates are defined as individuals aged 15 years and over with the highest certificate obtained from universities, colleges, polytechnics, recognised bodies or equivalent, where duration of study is at least two years. Graduates are classified into two categories namely diploma graduates and degree graduates.

Statistics on graduates’ salaries & wages are also presented in this publication to provide information on their earnings in Malaysia. The statistics are produced based on Salaries & Wages Survey which collect information of monthly salaries & wages from the full-time equivalent principal occupation of paid employees.

Realising the importance of a comprehensive graduates statistics, this report provide disaggregation by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of age group, sex, ethnic group, highest certificate obtained, strata, state, occupation, status in employment, skill level and economic activity.

Principal Statistics of Graduates

In 2018, number of graduates in Malaysia was 4.96 million persons, increased 7.6 per cent from 4.61 million in 2017. During the same period, graduates labour force increased 8.0 per cent to 4.15 million persons (2017: 3.84 million persons). Graduates labour force participation rate (GLFPR) was 83.6 per cent, went up 0.3 percentage points as against 83.3 per cent in 2017.

Out of the total graduates labour force, 96.1 per cent (3.99 million persons) were employed, increased 8.2 per cent from 3.69 million persons in previous year. On the contrary, graduates unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point to 3.9 per cent (162.0 thousand persons). Meanwhile, graduates outside labour force was 0.81 million persons in 2018, increased 5.5 per cent from 0.77 million persons (2017).

Employed Graduates Statistics

Exhibit 1: Employed graduates by age group and sex, Malaysia, 2018 ('000)


In 2018, number of employed graduates was 3.99 million persons, increased 8.2 per cent from  2017 (3.69 million persons). Comparison of employed graduates by sex shows that female dominated with a share of 50.4 per cent while male graduates contributed 49.6 per cent. [Exhibit 1]

Employed graduates in skilled category accounted for 73.8 per cent (2,945.7 thousand persons) in 2018 where the highest share was in the Professionals occupation category with 45.3 per cent (1,809.4 thousand persons), followed by Technicians and associate professionals at 19.0 per cent (759.3 thousand persons).

In addition, employed graduates in semi-skilled category comprised of 25.0 per cent (998.2 thousand persons). Out of the overall employed graduates in this category, Clerical support workers and Services and sales workers comprised of 9.8 per cent respectively followed by Craft and related trades workers at 2.8 per cent (110.4 thousand persons).

The remaining 1.2 per cent of graduates were employed in low-skilled category with 46.4 thousand persons.

Unemployed Graduates Statistics

Number of unemployed graduates in 2018 was 162.0 thousand persons, increased 4.6 per cent from 2017 (154.9 thousand persons). A total of 56.9 per cent of unemployed graduates were female as compared to 43.1 per cent male.

Active unemployed graduates accounted for 71.5 per cent (115.9 thousand persons) to the total unemployed graduates. Almost half of active unemployed graduates, which was 49.8 per cent (57.7 thousand persons) were unemployed less than three months; while another 29.9 per cent (34.7 thousand persons) were unemployed within three months and less than six months.

Meanwhile, inactive unemployed graduates comprised of 28.5 per cent (46.1 thousand persons) of the overall unemployed graduates. 

Graduates Outside Labour Force Statistics

Number of graduates outside labour force in 2018 was 811.8 thousand persons, increased 5.5 per cent from 2017 (769.1 thousand persons). The share of graduates outside labour force for female was 62.8 per cent while male graduates comprised of 37.2 per cent.

The most significant reason for graduates outside labour force was housework/ family responsibilities which accounted for 34.5 per cent (280.1 thousand persons) in 2018. This was followed by schooling/ training programme at 30.5 per cent (247.5 thousand persons) and graduates who were not interested/ just completed study at 3.5 per cent (28.8 thousand persons).

Meanwhile, the percentage share of going for further studies was 2.1 per cent (17.1 thousand persons) and disabled at 1.6 per cent (12.7 thousand persons).


The detailed information and technical notes are published in the publication of Graduates Statistics, 2018. 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

13 December 2019


Contact person:

Rohaida binti Mohamad 
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : rohaida.mohamad[at]dosm.gov.my