The huge rise in graduate numbers has altered the labour market 'beyond recognition', according to research published today by the Institute of Manpower Studies. The overall jobless rate is 14 per cent, but the proportion out of work from the older universities at 11 per cent compares with 18 per cent for newer institutions.
Graduate output has doubled in the last five years and is forecast to grow further by 1995 and beyond. The number of home admissions to first-year full-time and sandwich degree courses at universities topped 200,000 in 1992, an increase of 22 per cent since 1991 and 93 per cent since 1987.
Joblessness is still rising and the traditional demand for the services of university leavers is weak. The IMS Graduate Review 1993 reports that degree holders are taking a wider range of jobs and are having to lower their initial career expectations. More medium-sized and smaller firms are recruiting them. The co-author, Helen Connor, believes that the impact of the recession has been aggravated by the trend towards fewer layers of management.
The proportion of graduates who found permanent jobs within six months of leaving university has fallen from 51 per cent in 1990 to 42 per cent in 1992. More are taking short-term employment or opting to stay in the education system. The proportion continuing in further study or training increased from 24 per cent to 30 per cent between 1987 and 1992. More graduates are also entering jobs where traditionally a degree was not considered necessary.
While 62 per cent of university entrants still come from social classes I and II, there has been a slight shift towards other groups. Business and administration studies has been the fastest-growing subject group over the last five years.
The slowest growing have been engineering, technology and physical sciences.
IMS Graduate Review 1993; BEBC Ltd, P O Box 1496, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset BH12 3YD; pounds 30.