OVER half a million people in the country are currently jobless.
The number represented a 3.5% unemployment rate in the country, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot yesterday.
He also told the Dewan Rakyat that over 200,000 graduates were currently unemployed.
“Of that, 103,224 are those who have not been able to find employment, while 100,390 were those who have quit their jobs because they were unhappy with the pay or found their work unsuitable.
Replying to issues raised during the debate on the royal address, Riot said 14.8 million Malaysians are gainfully employed.
On the unemployment statistics, he said, the number was considered low compared to many other countries.
“If we take the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s benchmark, any nation that has less than 4% unemployment rate is deemed to have full employment,” he said, adding that the United States has an unemployment rate of 6.1%.
To a question by Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping), he maintained that the Government would keep the employment of unskilled foreign labour to below 15% by 2020.
Riot said that steps had been taken to reduce the number of foreign workers to 1.8 million since 2015.
On the issue of why locals were not interested to work in certain job sectors, Riot said that it was because they were seen as ‘3D’ or ‘dangerous, dirty and difficult’.
“I am sad to say that our youths are not interested in the 3D jobs.
“It is because of this we are forced to continue to rely on foreign workers,” he added.
He agreed with the suggestion by Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman (PKR-Indera Mahkota) that there must be a change in the mindset of Malaysian youth if they were serious about finding employment.