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ONS data on graduate market disheartening

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented on the ONS graduate labour market data, “The economic recovery has reinvigorated a wilting jobs market, with the number of advertised jobs in September 3% higher than a year ago. There are now just 1.9 jobseekers competing for each vacancy, compared to 2.3 in September 2012.

“But for those who are fresh out of university, the prospects of finding that first job remain gloomy.  Despite signs of a wider jobs recovery, the pick-up in the graduate jobs market has been less pronounced. As a result, 47% of recent graduates were working within non-graduate roles in September – a 38% increase from 2008.

“In the face of fierce competition, many grads are being forced to take on lower-skilled jobs. Our last jobs report found that there were more than 50 graduates competing for every entry level job in September. Advertised graduate salaries fell 3.4% compared to last September, and our latest data shows graduate vacancies have fallen 19% in the past year to October. Such difficult prospects, hand-in-hand with higher tuition fees, spell challenging financial times ahead for recent grads.”

The ONS data on graduate jobs was issued this morning.

The key findings were:

The report shows an upward trend in the proportion of recent graduates who are working in what can be classified as non-graduate jobs – those for which a higher educational background is not usually required.

The proportion of the population classed as graduates has been rising steadily, going from 17% in 1992 to 38% in 2013.

Recent graduates have consistently lower unemployment rates than non-graduates aged 21 to 30 (9% in April-June 2013, compared with 14% for young non-graduates).

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