Unemployment Issues among University Graduates (2012)

Acknowledging the lack of research on employment and unemployment issues among university graduates in Brunei Darussalam, in 2012, CSPS conducted a national survey of 816 university graduates of 2006 to 2011. The objectives of the survey were to: (a) measure the degree of unemployment and underemployment among university graduates, (b) understand the dominant factors related to unemployment and under-employment, (c) understand levels of job satisfaction among university graduates, and (d) recommend actions to alleviate employment problems.

Key findings suggest that several characteristics have an impact on the probability of unemployment, acting both through the individual labour supply and preferences – shifting the reservation wage – and through the signals sent to the employers – shifting the distribution of the potential wage offers.

The study put forward a number of policy recommendations, including: the adoption of active labour market policies (ALMP); a need for a mindset change and a review of the structure of public incentives and subsidies; policies aimed at easing the burden of combining work and family; continuous review of the scholarship policies aimed at improving the future employability of university graduates; internationalisation of the local universities; improvement of the labour market data, required for a dynamic, flexible, and evidence-based approach to education and labour market policies.

Findings and policy implications have been socialised with the relevant stakeholders and were included as an article in CSPS Strategy and Policy Journal.