Sarawak Employment Report 2019: 10 Key Takeaways

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Sarawak Employment Report 2019: 10 Key Takeaways has just successfully concluded its Sarawak Employment Report 2019. This is its second report after the Salary Survey Research 2015-2016.

This report is one of the most comprehensive done on the Sarawakian job market. The Sarawak Employment Report 2019 covers multiple perspectives and perceptions of the job market. These include those of students/ graduates, employees, and employers.

The report was made based off survey findings. The survey was conducted since 2018. The findings are based on 1930 responses. Based on the findings, the report outlines, 30 key topics. Here are 10 interesting takeaways from the report.

1. Most Sarawakians prefer to work in Sarawak

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Graduates’ preferred work location. (Image reproduced from Sarawak Employment Report 2019)

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Employee preferred job location. (Image reproduced from Sarawak Employment Report 2019)

Everybody thinks the dream is to work overseas. But, think again. Most graduates, as well as employees, prefer to work in Sarawak. Such is proven in the results from the Sarawak Employment Report 2019.

89.4% of graduates want to work in Sarawak. This is a 12% increase in desire than reported in 2016. Only 10.6% of graduates would be willing to leave Sarawak.

The same is more true for experienced hires. A big 93% of employees prefer to work in Sarawak. Only 7% have the preference to work outside Sarawak.

2. Most Sarawakians want a government job


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The common thinking is that “private is better”. According to the Sarawak Employment Report 2019, that isn’t true. Most Sarawakians idealize a local government job. 55.5% of Sarawakians want a government sector job after education. Whereas, only 38.3% would want a private sector job. Therefore, competition is definitely higher in the government sector.

And, preference was shown according to race. Bumiputera (63%) and Malay (65%) graduates preferred government work. Whereas most Chinese (62%) preferred private sector work.

3. Oil & gas isn’t the most preferred job sector

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Graduates’ Top 10 preferred job sectors. (Image reproduced from Sarawak Employment Report 2019)

You’d think in Sarawak the preferred job sector by default would be oil and gas. You’re wrong. Surprisingly, most preferred jobs in the education sector.

Then, preceding that is administrative and support service. Followed by human health, and social work. Next, you have construction tied with professional technical, and scientific.

And, did you know, the preference is divided by gender? Women’s first few sector preferences included education and administrative. Followed by, human health and social work. Whereas, men’s top preferences were construction and electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply. Followed by education and manufacturing.

Oil and gas came as the fourth choice for men. And, wasn’t in the top ten for women.

4. Most important hiring considerations


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Companies say personality (positive, good attitude, etc.) is the most important factor when hiring. Next, is communication skills. Thirdly, the level of education is important to companies/ employers.

Most Sarawakians agree education is important. 9 out of 10 graduates agreed education was important for employment. The reasons being that it gives confidence and knowledge for the job. Besides that, it allows for easy employment.

Graduates also agree with companies/ employers on hiring criteria. Most graduates agree personality is the most important. Next comes the level of education and then, communication skills.

5. You’ll probably make less than you expect


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One sad thing discovered is that you won’t make what you expect to make. It is regardless of your level of education. All levels make less than expected.

Graduates expect to make 17% or more than the actual fresh graduate starting rate. Salary isn’t the top priority during job search for fresh grads. But, it is still important to know when you are asking too high a starting pay.

The salary disparity for experienced hires it’s the same. Regardless of education, 18 to 33% of employees expect more pay. And, consider salary a top priority for choosing work.

6. Sarawakian employees think salary comes first

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Top 10 factors to consider during job search. (Image reproduced from Sarawak Employment Report 2019)

Experienced hires consider salary the top priority during the job search. 3 out of 4 (75%) Sarawakians would leave their current jobs for better pay offered elsewhere.

Besides that, other important job considerations include Job satisfaction/ purpose/ objective/ outcome. Next, comes Company benefits. Followed by, Job stability and Company environment.

7. Most Sarawakian employees are UNHAPPY at work

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Are employees happy or unhappy at work? (Image reproduced from Sarawak Employment Report 2019)

A staggering 78% of employees are unhappy according to the report. Only a meager 22% are happy.

The report shows there is more job satisfaction when one holds a higher career level. Those in Career Level 1 were most unhappy. While those in Career Level 5 were the least unhappy.

The main reasons for this include low salary and bad management. Next, lack of opportunities for career advancement and a lack of rewards. As well as, a lack of opportunities to apply skills and abilities.

8. Dream job factors

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Top 5 factors that defines ‘Dream Job’. (Image reproduced from Sarawak Employment Report 2019)

What makes a dream job for an experienced Sarawakian hire/employee?

Firstly, is good management. Then, comes a high salary and good opportunities for career advancement. Next, comes good opportunities to apply skills and abilities. Lastly, is good work and life balance

9. Biggest factors affecting income


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What affects the income the most? The two biggest factors are education and years of experience.

The average salary of higher educated Sarawakians shows a huge difference. Higher educated includes those with a Bachelors degree or Masters. That difference is when compared to those with a lower level of education. In fact, it’s almost doubled for those with a Masters when compared to those with a Bachelors degree.

10. Technical jobs are where the money is at


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Of course, it differs when comparing a new hire to experienced hire salary.

The Construction Industry has the highest average monthly salary for less experienced employees. Its engineers, architects, quantity surveyors or designers can expect a more than double salary increment with seniority. Their average monthly salary can go up to RM 4095.

Oil & Gas or Human health and social work activities have the highest salary increment. That is when compared to other sectors. Experienced workers in these industries can expect their income to triple as they progress from entry to senior levels!

Read the Sarawak Employment Report 2019 now

Information regarding employment is important to know for Sarawakians. You need to know such to stay ahead of the competition. There is so much more information in the full Sarawak Employment Report 2019.

You can read the full report here. Besides that, you could simply head to and read it there. If you’re looking for a job you definitely have to read the report.

Besides that, is a highly useful online tool for job finding. If ever you’re in search of a job, chances are you’ll find luck there.

Kuscera Youngblood About the author

Her writing is focused on millennial content. Particularly local content. She's passionate about the local scene and wants more people to know about it through her writing. Check out her articles on, which she actively writes for.