The proportion of university leavers out of work has nearly doubled since before the recession, an increase from 10.6 per cent to 18.5 per cent.
Richard Exell, the TUC’s Senior Policy Officer, looks at today’s ONS release on graduate unemployment
There are a number of interesting aspects to today’s figures for graduate unemployment. The one that gets immediate attention is that the proportion of university leavers out of work has nearly doubled since before the recession, an increase from 10.6 per cent to 18.5 per cent, as illustrated below:
Graduate unemployment usually rises in recessions and has not reached the peak of more than 24 per cent that it hit in the recession of the early 90s. Nonetheless, the graduate unemployment rate has increased by 75 per cent since the start of the recession (compared to a 50 per cent rise for the labour market generally).
This underlines just how hard young people have been hit by the jobs crisis. We already knew that nearly one million young people are unemployed, and today’s figures underline this fact.
They also underline the perversity of cutting funding for the Young Person’s Guarantee, which provided support to unemployed young people including graduates. The replacement announced yesterday – 8 weeks’ unpaid work experience – won’t help graduates because it is limited to people aged 18-21.
On Saturday, the TUC, in partnership with the National Union of Students (NUS) and University and College Union (UCU), is organising a rally in Manchester to protest against the government’s lack of any sense of urgency about youth unemployment.
Over the past few weeks we have seen university students mobilised by the great fees scandal, followed by school students angered by the abolition of Educational Maintenance Allowances. Perhaps graduates are next on the list of young people the coalition plans to turn their back on.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.