Essays on Changing Employment Patterns and Conditions in Malaysia Case Study

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The paper "Changing Employment Patterns and Conditions in Malaysia" is a good example of a marketing case study. The rate of unemployment among Malaysian graduates is a shocking development. For a period of time, the predicament has persisted, discussed in parliament and made the topic of discussion at the daily headlines. The higher education in Malaysia is no longer regarded as a representation of career success among the graduates. Of late, there have been many scholars who have tried to research the unemployment trend among the Malaysian fresh graduates.

A study by Ismail (2011) found out that the causes of unemployment are due to students being short of soft skills. Such skills include low self-esteem, lack of confidence, poor in computer and English skills. The major reason for the rise in the rate of unemployment is the absence of quality amongst the fresh graduates. In a move to try and solve the issue of unemployment among the graduates, there is the need to carry out training courses of high quality to the fresh graduates who are unemployed. This can be through the implementation of the total quality management principle in the procedures of training and the use of DSS model to assist both the training companies and the fresh unemployed graduates to formulate the right decisions. Malaysia is strengthening an economy which is knowledge-based and also in the pipeline is the establishment of a workforce based on knowledge.

This has lead to a rapid increase in employment growth (Said & Haris 2008). This paper will discuss the changing employment condition and patterns in Malaysia in the last 20 years. Macro factors affecting employment in Malaysia POLITICAL Generally, the country’ s labour force was changed from a primary segment to the market being industrial founded between 1980 and 1990 according to table 1.

The government policies towards the country’ s labour market were interrelated with the economic transition, as a result, the labour market framework changed (Machin 2001). ECONOMIC In the last ten years in Malaysia, generally, there has been the growth of the economy plus full employment. There was a rapid growth in employment from approx 6 million to approx 10 million between 1984 and 2000 as shown in table 1.

This led to a rapid decrease in the unemployment rate from 5.05 % to 3.06% of the labour force within the same period (Machin 2001). Even though there were signs of the improved economic situation in the country in what can be termed as a transition period, the country’ s economy was in reality facing a tight state of affairs in the employment market (Said & Haris 2008). The country experienced labour shortages particularly amid and after the subsidence period. Generally, the country’ s labour market was changed from a primary sector to the market being industrial-based between 1980 and 1990.

The government policies towards the country’ s labour market were interrelated with the economic transition, as a result, the labour market framework changed (Machin 2001). 3) SOCIAL In Malaysia, there is a low contribution of women into the country’ s labour force. This trend has increased over the years. The unemployment rate is on the rise especially to the graduates and more specifically the female graduates as compared to the male graduates. The experience is fascinating putting into consideration that there is a high enrolment of females in the universities as compared to male graduates.

In addition, most females graduate in fields which are not highly skilled like humanities, education, law, social science and arts. The students who study in these fields are thought to have lower chances of getting employed. Generally, people who graduate with skills in science and technology are better placed in the job market than those with humanity and social sciences skills (Teichler, 2000: Kougioumoutzaki & Kalamatianou, 2008).



Ismail, N 2011, Graduates’ characteristics and unemployment: A study among Malaysian graduates, International Journal of Business and Social Science, Vol. 2, No. 16, pp 94-102.

Kassim, A 2005, Cross-border movement of foreign workers in Malaysia: a comparative analysis, Master Builders Journal, 3rd Quarter.

Kalaimagal, R 2012, Employment issues among Malaysian information and communication technology (ICT) graduates: A case study, African Journal Of Business Management, Vol. 6, No.16. doi:10.5897/ajbm11.1924

Machin, S 2001, The changing nature of labour demand in the new economy and skill-biased technology change, Oxford Bull Econ & Stats, Vol. 63, No.1, p. 753-776. doi:10.1111/1468-0084.63.spe1.8

Said, R & Haris, A 2008, Changes in Relative Demand for Labour in Malaysia (1984-1997) Using a Decompsition Approach, International Journal of Economics and Management, Vol. 2, No.1, pp 157-178.

Teichler, U 2000, Graduate employment and work in selected European countries, European Journal of Education, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp 141 – 156.

Yen, D. C., Lee, S & Koh, S 2001, Critical Knowledge/ skills sets required by industries: An empirical analysis, Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 101, No.8, pp 432-442.


Peetz, D & Todd, T 2000, Globalisation and employment relations in Malaysia, Bangkok, ILO.

Conference papers

Hairi, F., Toee, A., Nazuir, M & Razzaly, W 2011, Employers’ perception on soft skills of graduates: a study of Intel elite soft skill training, International Conference on Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (ICTLHE).

Kougioumoutzaki F & Kalamatianou, A. G 2008, Employment status and occupational mismatch: The case of Greek social sciences graduates, Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Educational Economics, Athens, Greece, 27 – 30 August 2008.

National Economics Action Council 2003, “Preliminary Findings: Study on the Employability of Malaysian Graduates,” A presentation to Executive Director of NEAC on 9th April 2003. Not Published.

Web page 2014, Malaysia Economic Indicators, viewed on 08 Nov 2014,

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