Graduate unemployment rises to highest rate in more than a decade

Graduate unemployment has risen by 44% in a year, the highest rate for more than a decade, new research has revealed.

Research by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) found nearly one in 10 students who graduated in the summer of 2008 were unemployed the following January – nearly double the year before and the highest rate since 1995-96.

The authors of the research warned the situation would get even worse for those graduating in the summer of 2010, the Daily Mail reported.

Architecture and construction graduates have been particularly hit, with the unemployment rate for these graduates having nearly tripled from 2.9% in 2007 to 8.5% for 2008 graduates.

However, the number of graduates recruited into healthcare, teaching and social work increased.

Mike Hill, chief executive of HECSU, said: ‘We’re starting to see the extent of the impact the recession has had. But despite unemployment increasing, for those who have found a job, salary levels are holding up.’

Business secretary Peter Mandelson will today unveil a 10-year blueprint for higher education.

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