Friday, 11 December 2009

Graduate unemployment

Normally we'd have to wait until next June to find out what the unemployment rate was for graduates who left university in 2008/9 six months after graduating - DLHE is in progress and won't complete for a little while.

But thanks to a Parliamentary question from David Willetts to the Cabinet Office Minister, Angela Smith, we have at least got an estimate for graduate unemployment (for graduates who had received their degree within the last year) in June 2009.

The figure is 11.4% of graduates who are economically active (all those who are working or seeking work - so I assume not those in further study), or 9.4% of all graduates who got degrees within the last year.

It is also not clear what is meant by 'degree' - if it is the LFS, it could well be 'all Level 4 qualifications and above', which would bring in all sorts of qualifications from Foundation degrees to PhDs - Masters qualifications would probably be the major contributer to that figure apart from Bachelors degrees.

The source used is the Labour Force Survey, and so the stats are considered acceptable but with significant potential variation.

Looking at previous years data it does vary a little from DLHE, but what this tells us is that 2008/9 did see significantly worse graduate unemployment than 2008.

Essentially, the unemployment rate according to the LFS went up between 3.3 and 4.3% between 2008 and 2009, which means we can expect a rate for DLHE well above 10% and possibly over 11% - a figure to rival the recessions of the 90s, but not quite as bad as that of the early 80s.