BBC: More graduates taking low-skill jobs

12 May 2011
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University leavers are increasingly taking non-graduate jobs, according to research.

Six months after leaving university, about 40% of last year's graduates were "underemployed" in lower-skilled jobs, up from about 30% four years before.

The report, published by the Association of Accounting Technicians, says new graduates have been among the worst hit by the economic downturn.

The research, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, forecasts a worsening jobs market for graduates who will leave this summer.

It warns that 55% of the next wave of university leavers will either be working in non-graduate jobs, or will be unemployed, six months after they finish at university.

The analysis looks at what it says is the growing trend for "underemployment", in which graduates are in low-skilled jobs where a degree is not required.

Four years ago, there were 32% of university leavers in low-skilled jobs six months after graduating.

The study forecasts that this will rise to 42%, for graduates leaving this summer.

The report also looks at graduate unemployment - warning that since the financial crash of 2008 "unemployment among new graduates has risen drastically".

The figure for those without jobs six months after graduating has risen from about 11% in 2007 to 20% for those graduating in 2010.

The study estimates that about 59,000 of last year's graduates have not found jobs, and that unemployment among new graduates is rising to levels not seen since the mid-1990s.

However the study shows that over a longer period graduates are still less likely to be unemployed compared to the national average.

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