Too few good jobs for graduates

Three lots of graduate employment data were released this week. For recent graduates, the good news in that unemployment has dropped to 5.5%, though another 12% are in part-time or casual jobs and looking for full-time work. But for graduates overall, the ABS finds that unemployment is only 2.4%. Today’s ABS job search data shows that half of unemployed graduates have been out of work for 8 weeks or less. Just 0.4% of graduates in the labour market have been unemployed for 6 months or more.

But does this mean that Bob Birrell is right that we have too few graduates? The latest ABS graduate employment data again shows that he is wrong. Many graduates are employed in jobs that do not require degrees, such as clerical or sales jobs. Counting them and unemployed graduates together, and we have a ‘reserve’ graduate workforce of more than 460,000 people. That’s equivalent to nearly three years of university completions.
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