Graduate unemployment at highest level for 17 years
Nearly one in 11 graduates are unemployed six months after leaving university – the highest proportion for 17 years, a study reveals today.
Rising numbers are taking jobs that do not require degrees, including as waiters and checkout workers, the survey of almost 225,000 graduates shows.
The poll, by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit charity, covered 82% of those who completed an undergraduate degree last summer and live in the UK. The pollsters interviewed the graduates in January – six months after they left university. It comes as ministers plan to substantially increase the amount graduates pay for their degrees.
The study found 8.9% of graduates, or just over 21,000, were out of a job after six months, a one percentage point rise on the previous year.
The last time graduate unemployment was as bleak was in 1993, when the UK was coming out of a recession. Then, 10.5% of graduates were unemployed after six months. In 1992, it was a record 11.6%.
The proportion of university leavers with a graduate-level job – as defined by the government – has dropped 3.3 points to 62.4%, the charity found. The proportion working in retail and catering rose by 3.8 points to 14.4% – about one in seven.
The mean starting salary for graduates has not kept pace with inflation and is now £19,695 – an £18 rise on last year, the survey found. It is £22,228 in London and £19,965 in Scotland. Those who had studied Chinese had the highest starting salary at £24,540 a year, while fine art graduates started on the lowest wage at £14,625.
Some 59.2% of the graduates were employed, compared with 61.4% the previous year. Some 15.4% were studying or in training, up from 14.1%. A further 8% were taking postgraduate degrees, down 0.1%.
The public sector is one of "very few" areas that has continued to recruit graduates in the recession, the charity said, fuelling fears as the sector prepares to shed hundreds of thousands of roles...>> Read More
November 1, 2010, 12:16 pm