Malaysian jobseekers, especially fresh graduates, are feeling the heat from the softening job market as uncertainties in the global economies continues.

Job-Vacancies

The number of job vacancies recorded last year was 107,796 compared to 167,968 in 2012, a 35.7% dropped, while the number of fresh graduates entering the market remain steady at 180,000 yearly, Malaysian Employers Federation’s (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan told The Star.

The introduction of Minimum Retirement Act 2012 came in force July 1, was of no help either as it locked-in nearly a million jobs in the private, over the next five years, The Star reports.

Manpower Malaysia country manager Sam Haggag said multi-national companies (MNCs) were restructuring and rationalising their permanent headcounts, according to the national daily.

“Companies are managing costs. Hiring is on hold for most jobs except in senior technical positions and niche areas like biosciences and R&D. Some companies are letting their employees go and those that are hiring, are doing so on contract basis,” the daily quoted Sam Haggag.

“Many employers also prefer to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude because of the uncertain world economy. They are also bracing themselves for the full impact of the minimum wage policy in January,” he said.

Shamsuddin said companies, which faced higher operating costs and earning lower revenues, had stopped hiring as one of their cost-cutting measures.

“Some employers are already offering the voluntary separation scheme (VSS) and other packages for employees to leave, so the likelihood of them taking in fresh graduates is very slim,” he said, adding that the current unemployment rate was only about 3%.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon said electrical and electronics (E&E) companies might have undertaken cost cutting measures to sustain operations.

“To cope with slower demand from major external markets, companies have stopped hiring new staff or put filling up vacancies on hold. The softening of the job market could be due to the RM4.99bil drop in export demand from January to June this year.

“Also, the higher retirement age raised in July means a reduction in new intake,” he added.

On the lower ranking positions, he said many companies could be stabilising their workforce by requiring “more multi-skilling and multi-tasking” workers because of the challenging business environment. The FMM represents 2,678 members.