Malaysia

Fresh grads struggling to survive due to high cost of living, Jobstreet poll reveals

A majority of fresh graduates earning an average salary of RM2,500 a month are struggling to make ends meet, a recent poll by online recrutiment company, Jobstreet.com, revealed.

The poll, which was carried out last month, saw 2,062 fresh graduates from various industries being surveyed on their income and expenditure.

Jobstreet reported that 77% of respondents said their salary did not leave them with any savings after spending on essentials with 63% of respondents saying that the essentials included car and study loans, which were their major commitments.

Due to the rising fuel prices, many respondents said transportation costs were also among their top expenses.

Jobstreet reported 63% of respondents saying they spent an average of RM1,500 of their salary on these essential expenditures.

To save cost, nearly half of the fresh graduates surveyed said they lived with their parents, 30% rented out with their friends while the remaining 20% lived on their own, Jobstreet reported.

"Some 87% of respondents admitted that they did not have any other income besides their salary.

"This is why most fresh graduates asked for a higher than average salary during job interviews."

The poll also revealed that 60% of respondents said they expected a salary of RM3,500 for their first job while 30% expected as much as RM6,500 for their starting pay.

However, 66% of employers told Jobstreet that they were only prepared to offer fresh graduates a starting salary of between RM2,500 and RM2,800, depending on their qualifications.

Hence, Jobstreet said it was no surprise that fresh graduates were always on the lookout for a new job with a higher salary.

"This creates the high turnover experienced by companies who hire fresh graduates, as they are trying to cope with the increasing cost of living," Jobstreet said.

Following the 13th general election in May last year, Putrajaya announced several measures as part of a subsidy rationalisation exercise.

First came an increase in the price of fuel, which led to the cost of other goods and services rising.

Then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that Putrajaya would no longer be subsidising sugar, which led to further price increases.

Electricity tariffs were also increased and public anger was further raised when Putrajaya contemplated allowing toll rates to be increased.

On New Year's Eve, thousands of angry and frustrated Malaysians gathered in Kuala Lumpur and marched towards Dataran Merdeka.

They voiced their anger at the rising cost of living even while the Auditor General reported various wastage and leakages in the public sector. – April 14, 2014

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