According to the Job Outlook Report by Southeast Asia’s top online job search firm, 33 per cent of employers felt that the general job outlook would be slightly worse or much worse, which was an increase from the previous quarter’s 22 per cent.
Malaysia reported a 4.7 per cent GDP growth for the first three months of this year, marking its third consecutive quarterly drop since it posted a 7.2 per cent increase in the second quarter of last year.
“The respondents who answered that the job outlook would be slightly better or much better has dropped from 47 per cent to 31 per cent in the third quarter of 2012,” JobStreet said in the report.
The report also said that compared to the same period last year, an increase of 10 per cent of employers said the employment prospects would get slightly worse or much worse.
The job placement company had surveyed 239 employers who held manager or senior manager positions across various industries last month.
“Employers gave mixed responses when asked about their hiring activities.
“Forty-three per cent said they are either expanding or maintaining their hiring rate while 46 per cent said that they will be hiring less people, replacing or filling essential positions only in the next 12 months,” it said.
The report added that 11 per cent said that they will not be conducting any hiring exercises in the foreseeable future.
“For most industries, jobseekers with skills in sales and marketing or marketing and business development are the most sought after, followed by those with expertise in computer and information technology, accounting and administration,” it said.
The report also said that major industries such as manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT), retail and wholesale trade, and finance were likely to experience the lowest job growth in the next 12 months.
“Majority of the industries also foresee that they will be hiring less than five employees in the next three to six months,” it said.
An estimated 76,200 graduates are currently unemployed because the majority do not possess adequate job-hunting skills and are too dependent on others for information on available jobs, Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan was reported as saying in May.
She was reported by state news agency Bernama as telling the Dewan Negara that 77.14 per cent of 1,994 respondents in a study by the Labour Department said they needed a mentor or coach to guide them on ways to find a job.
Malaysia is seeking to make the leap into the ranks of a high-income nation status in the next eight years.
Analysts have also warned the ambitious nation still stuck in the middle-income trap to brace for a significant slowdown here due to rising linkages with top trade partners including China, the world’s second-largest market, which economists say is headed for a sixth consecutive quarterly drop in growth, with worse to come.
Malaysia is among the most vulnerable Asian economies should a “perfect storm” of a disorderly debt default in Europe, a slowdown in China and the US, and rising tensions in the Middle East materialise, strategy research house Roubini Global Economics (RGE) said in a recent report last month.
RGE, best known for its founder “Dr Doom” Nouriel Roubini who predicted the collapse of the US housing market and the 2008 global financial crisis, said that Malaysia had the highest exposure to a pullout of capital as its eurozone and US bank claims amount to more than 25 per cent of GDP.
The World Bank also urged Malaysia last week to expedite reforms such as subsidy cuts and broadening the tax base, key initiatives that have stalled ahead of an impending federal election, if it wants to achieve Putrajaya’s target of being a high-income economy by 2020.