Last week, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) released their 2018 annual report, and the chapter that caught everyone’s attention was how fresh graduates with a diploma or degree in 2018 earn less than graduates from 2010.
The report also suggested the economy’s lack of high-skilled jobs was to be blamed for this outcome. This is because the number of graduates produced per annum averages at 173,000, while the net employment for high-skilled jobs were only at 98,000 per annum.
Moreover, BNM said in spite of their education level, graduates are settling into jobs with requirements well below their education level, since demand for their field is limited. Additionally, it was reported that this trend could influence the younger population not to pursue higher education.
But a couple of days later, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) gave a contrary statement. The federation said that the monthly salary for fresh graduates has been increasing from 2010 to 2018.
This further confused the public because the BNM report cites MEF as their source for their estimates.
MEF Executive Director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan did not deny that the data was based on the MEF Salary Survey for Non-Executives and Executives 2018. But Shamsuddin claims the BNM report had adjusted their data to take into account other factors like the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Additionally, Shamsuddin said the analysis by BNM was useful for policy formulation for employers, although causing controversy between employees. He also mentioned the reports did not include overtime, rest day payments, allowances, and bonuses.
Although contradictory, it seems Sahmsuddin did not discredit the report by BNM. So, are fresh graduates earning more in 2010 or 2018?