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Graduate Unemployment At Lowest Level For 4 Decades

19 Oct 2018

Graduate Unemployment At Lowest Level For 4 Decades

The level of graduate unemployment in the UK has fallen to its lowest rate for almost four decades, according to new figures from Prospect.

The rate of unemployment for graduates who left university six months has now fallen to just a fraction over five per cent, the lowest level since 1979 when the figure stood at a fraction under five per cent.

Graduate wages also appear to be rising again, with the average starting salary now at £22,399, up from £21,776 last year, with an increase of almost three per cent over the last twelve months.

All regions of the England have benefitted from rising graduate salaries over the last year, but the East and the Midlands saw the strongest gains.

With the rate of graduate unemployment coming down, there has also been a corresponding rise in the rate of employment amongst university leavers. Over 4,500 more UK graduates had found work within since months of leaving university than had done at the same time last year, with more than 3 in 4 graduates landing a job.

Commenting on the latest figures from the graduate jobs market, Head of Higher Education Intelligence at Prospects, Charlie Ball, said: “Skills shortages have been a feature of the graduate labour market since the recovery from the last recession. There are signs that this may have helped to fuel a modest rise in salaries as well as job prospects.”

Indeed, skills shortages do appear to be having an impact on the graduate jobs market over recent years.

The number of graduates who have found work in a professional role has risen to 73.9 per cent from 71.4 per cent a year ago, with Accountancy, Engineering, IT and Marketing in high demand.

In total, almost 8,000 more graduates have secured a professional role than had done at the same time last year.

Chief Executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis, also commented on the figures, saying:

“The Prospects data shows that employer demand for graduates is growing. We know that employers value the broad skills graduates develop at university across a wide range of subjects and levels. Educating more people of all ages at university would grow our economy faster, addressing skills shortages and increasing productivity, competitiveness, and innovation.

“Going to university is also a good investment for students. Graduate salaries are, on average, almost £10,000 a year higher than for non-graduates, and graduates are significantly more likely to be in employment. Universities also provide graduates with skills that will be valuable throughout their lives. The ability to think critically and to analyse and present evidence are skills that enrich graduates' lives, and last for life,” added Mr Jarvis.

If you are one of the graduates who still hasn’t been fortunate enough to land your ideal role, then don’t despair! We’ve got hundreds of graduate vacancies across all parts of the UK and in every sector you can imagine. Apply for live vacancies in your area now in our Graduate Jobs Section.

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