Malaysia achieved full employment when the unemployment rate dropped to three per cent in the second quarter of the year, the Dewan Negara was told. Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Mutalib said based on International Labour Organisation standards, any country with an unemployment rate of less than four per cent would be regarded as having attained full employment.
"Three per cent is equivalent to 414,400 people and is low compared with most developed countries," he said in a reply to Senator Datuk Boon Som Inong. Ismail said Spain had an unemployment rate of 26.3 per cent, Italy 12 per cent, United States 7.4 per cent, Australia 5.7 per cent and Japan 3.8 per cent.
Ismail said among the main reasons for unemployment according to a study by Universiti Utara Malaysia and the Labour Department were choosy employees.
"Most people looking for jobs do not want to work in sectors that are dirty, difficult or dangerous, or have unreasonable expectations of remuneration and benefits." Ismail said employers could also be choosy in choosing certain candidates to fill vacancies in their companies according to looks, experience and skills.
Ismail said among the measures taken by the government was the implementation of the Graduate Employability Blueprint (2012-2017) at the end of last year to ensure the marketability of graduates before they entered the workforce.