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Four in five Malaysian candidates struggling to find jobs

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Malaysians are struggling to find jobs – in a survey by, 80.6% of the 1,700 job seekers that responded said it is either difficult or very difficult to get a job these days.

The study, conducted online, also found that a majority of respondents (70.3%) are bearish on the nation’s long-term economic and political prospects, with a rating between okay/bad/very bad.

Asked how difficult it is these days to find a job, the job seekers responded:

  • 35.3% – Very difficult.
  • 45.3% – Difficult.
  • 15.7% – Okay.
  • 2.2% – Easy.
  • 1.3% – Very easy.

On the long-term economic and political prospects of Malaysia, responses included:

  • 13.3% – Very good.
  • 16.7% – Good.
  • 43.3% – Okay.
  • 13.5% – Bad.
    13.5% – very bad.

Asim Qureshi, CEO of, said the survey strongly indicates the job market is pretty tough right now, and job seekers are feeling the brunt of it.

He said: “Only 3.5% of jobseekers felt it was easy or very easy to get a job which is surprisingly low, especially when considering Malaysia’s job market has traditionally been somewhat of a huge merry-go-round where employers struggle with staff turnover. I see that employers are being way more selective when hiring than a few years ago.”

ALSO READ: Close to 3 in 4 Singapore employers have zero hiring plans for Q4 2016

Malaysia’s unemployment rate has been hovering at around 3.4% in 2016, the highest since 2009. Between 2009 and 2016 it has been around the 3% level, per the report. With relatively low levels of unemployment, it is surprising that job seekers are finding it so difficult to get roles.

Toine Vaessen, COO of PayrollPanda, noted this situation represents a double-edged sword. “Yes, it’s not good that jobseekers are struggling to find jobs, but it certainly makes Malaysia attractive for employers compared to its neighbours. We’ve got a multilingual and increasingly educated workforce and right now, frankly, it’s easy to get great talent in Malaysia.”

Photo / 123RF

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