Post Industrial Zero Growth Society forces graduates into dead end service jobs

More graduates in low skilled jobs, figures show

Graduates are more likely to be in work than people without degrees

6 March 2012 Last updated at 12:58

Recent graduates are more likely to be working in lower skilled jobs than they were 10 years ago, new figures show.

Over a third of recent graduates were in non-graduate jobs at the end of 2011 – up from around a quarter in 2001.

The figures, from Office for National Statistics, also showed around a fifth of new graduates was unemployed.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, called for an industrial strategy to reverse the trend of graduates taking low skilled jobs.

Mr Barber said a lack of quality jobs had forced people with degrees into lower skilled jobs. He said the government should focus on boosting high value industries such as manufacturing.

“Otherwise public investment in education and the talents of graduates will continue to be wasted”, he added.
Best paid

The new figures suggest that the best paid graduates are those with degrees in medicine and dentistry, earning more than £21 an hour.

The lowest paid graduates are those with degrees in the arts and humanities who earn on average around £12 an hour.

The study also calculates the typical wage of graduates aged between 21 and 64 to be just over £15 an hour – easily outstripping the average earnings of just under £9 an hour for non-graduates.

The figures indicate that graduates are less likely to be unemployed than the rest of the available workforce.

At the end of 2011, the proportion of graduates of all ages who were in work stood at 86%, compared with 72.3% for non-graduates.

But the report says that since the recession began in 2008, the employment prospects of recent graduates have become more limited.

Twice as many new graduates were out of work at the end of last year as in 2008.

But the figures suggest that the employment prospects of new graduates may be improving slowly.

At the end of last year 18.9% of new graduates were out of work, compared with 20.5% at the peak of the recent recession.

The figures are also better than in the recession in the 1990s, when unemployment for new graduates peaked at 26.9% in 1993.

Carl Gilleard of the Association of Graduate Recruiters said the figures show a degree is still a worthwhile investment.

“My advice for graduates is to have both a short term and long term approach to planning their careers, to gain experience in the workplace and see it as a valuable a stepping stone towards their longer term career goals”, said Mr Gilleard.

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