December 14, 2010 10:56 ET

Graduate Unemployment on the Rise

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2010) - A recent poll has revealed that almost one in eleven graduates are still unemployed six months after graduating. It's reported that this figure is the highest graduate unemployment rate recorded in seventeen years.

The last time graduate unemployment was this high was in 1993 when the UK was coming out of a recession. According to the Higher Education Careers Services Unit charity (HECS), the number of university graduates securing graduate level jobs has dropped by 3.3% since last year.

Due to this high unemployment rate, a rising number of graduates are obtaining jobs that require little or no qualification. According to the HECS, almost 225,000 graduates are settling for jobs as waiters and checkout workers. The charity found that the number of catering and retail jobs has increased by 3.8% to 14.4%, with graduates accounting for one in seven placements.

The charity also found that the starting salary for graduates has not taken inflation into account and has only increased by £18 since last year. This current starting salary for graduates is £22,228 in London and £19,965 in Scotland. The highest earning graduates are those who studied Chinese, with an annual earning potential of £24,540. Fine Art graduates earn the lowest annual graduate salary, at an average of £14,625.

Charlie Ball, the charity's deputy research director said, "with the anticipated public sector job cuts, the future in the medium-term looks less clear. It depends on what the government does and how the private sector reacts. This will determine things for graduates for the next three to four years."

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