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Grad all over

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Grad all over

For graduates, despite what may be widely reported, the labour market is not as gloomy as it looks. HECSU comments on the latest Labour Force Survey.

Commenting on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey* that reports the highest graduate unemployment rate in over a decade at 20 percent, Charlie Ball, research director at the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) said: “While quite shocking, we have to bear in mind that the figures come from immediately after graduation and we would expect many students to wait until they had actually graduated to start job-hunting. “In fact, the graduate labour market is not as gloomy as it looks. What the figures show is that, despite all of the dismal predictions about their prospects, 80 percent of graduates had already got something lined up once they left university.

“Looking at the previous year, unemployment was not a great deal lower than in 2010 and six months after graduating the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent. There’s no doubt that the job market remains challenging for graduates, but many, if not most, new graduates unemployed in the summer, will have found work in the autumn. “The survey also shows that those with a degree fared far better than those without, so we can see that even in a fragile economy higher education remains valuable.

“Recent reports from the Association of Graduate Recruiters and High Fliers, as well as our own experience of employers advertising through prospects.ac.uk, show a rebound in graduate recruitment and cautious optimism for 2011. “We need to give the best support we can to help students have something lined up for when they graduate, and to help those that are out of work to compete for the jobs that are available.”

 

1 February 2011

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