KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): Unemployment has become a serious issue in Malaysia, says the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), noting that the slower economic growth could not support the labour market.
MIER executive director Emeritus Professor Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid expressed concern especially on the rising unemployment among youths.
"We don't have the unemployment breakdown that shows the graduates' unemployment but the Human Resource Ministry has mentioned that nearly half a million people are unemployed and out of that, 200,000 are youths, which means about two-fifth of the unemployment comes from youths.
"The other issue is the low income in Malaysia," Zakariah said at MIER's 22nd Corporate Economic Briefing today.
According to Bank Negara Malaysia's 2016 annual report, the unemployment rate among youths rose 1.2% from an estimated 9.5% to 10.7% in 2015. In comparison, the national unemployment rate went up by only 0.2% from 2.9% to 3.1%.
The issue of brain drain was also raised at the briefing.
"The weak ringgit is encouraging people to go out to work in other countries," a participant said.
Zakariah agreed, saying that with such issues becoming more important in Malaysia, more analysis will be carried out on these matters.