Thursday, October 30, 2008

Graduate Meltdown!

Well, you'd think so, wouldn't you? All kinds of doomy predictions about hordes of unemployed graduates (not borne out by stats so far) are being brought out.

But let's take a look at what is actually happening. In 2007, when the economy was still booming, 6% of new graduates from 2005/6 were unemployed six months after graduating, as you can see on the chart to the right. That was actually a pretty reasonable year, so it makes a good guide to how things looked when the economy was going well.

Even at this point, only 8.1% of those graduates who were working were actually in jobs in business and finance, and many of them were not in banks or funding institutions - they were employed as accountants and auditors in companies, or as management consultants.

This is not a great situation for graduate employment, by any stretch. But nor is it meltdown. It isn't fun if you wanted to be a London-based banker. But only a small minority of graduates did in the first place, and it is irresponsible to worry people with a big life change ahead of them by presenting the plight of a small minority of graduates as typical of all of them.