DOSM: Fresh Graduates Were Paid Minimum Wage In 2020
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Fresh graduates who entered the job market last year received lower starting salaries compared to those who joined the year before, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) found. In fact, said DOSM chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin, most of them were earning salaries comparable to the minimum wage.

The majority of new degree graduates last year earned between RM1,001 and RM1,500 per month, compared to the RM2,001-RM2,500 average salary in 2019. Malaysia’s legal minimum wage is set at RM1,200 per month while the minimum hourly wage is RM5.77.

“At the same time, the monthly income of Malaysian PhD and Master graduates in 2020 remained in the range of RM5,001-RM10,000, while diploma graduates were the majority in the range of RM1,001-RM1,500,” Mohd Uzir told The Malaysian Insight.

datuk seri dr mohd uzir mahidin

(Image: New Straits Times)

The chief statistician explained that in an economic downturn, the data on average wages could be distorted due to the “composition effect” or major changes in employment. “When most of those who have lost their jobs are low-paid workers, this increases the average wages of the remaining employees,’’ he said. Mohd Uzir added that preliminary data showed that about two-thirds of countries saw slower average wage growth in the first half of 2020.

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia recorded 318,593 graduates in 2020, lower than the 346,686 in 2019. Malaysian graduates comprised 95.8% (305,301) in 2020, a 7.6% drop compared to 2019 (330,557). “The graduates’ employability, which encompassed employment, continued study, skills improvement and waiting for a job placement, was at 84.4%,’’ Mohd Uzir revealed.

Lastly, the Covid-19 pandemic also caused a lower labour force participation (LFPR) among fresh graduates, although the overall LFPR of 83.9  last year was marginally above 2019’s 83.5%. “For the young age group of 24 years and below, LFPR was at 64.8% in 2020 compared to 70.2% in 2019,” he stated.

(Source: Malay Mail)

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