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Jobs Drying Up for New Graduates

12 January 2015 at 10:57 am
Xavier Smerdon
It is becoming more difficult for new higher education graduates to secure full-time employment while the number that are settling for part-time work is increasing, a new report has revealed.

Xavier Smerdon | 12 January 2015 at 10:57 am


Jobs Drying Up for New Graduates
12 January 2015 at 10:57 am

It is becoming more difficult for new higher education graduates to secure full-time employment while the number that are settling for part-time work is increasing, a new report has revealed.

Graduate Careers Australia’s annual Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) found that 68.1 per cent of bachelor degree graduates were in full-time employment within four months of completing their degree.

The figure represents a 3.2 per cent drop since 2013 and an eight per cent drop since 2012.

The research, which surveyed 59.3 of the 191,000 Australian resident graduates, also found that the number of graduates in part-time employment had increased.

20.3 per cent of those surveyed said they had only secured a part-time or casual position and were still looking for more secure work, an increase of three per cent since 2012.

11.6 per cent had not found employment at all and were still looking for fulltime employment at the time of the survey, up from 10.6 per cent in 2013 and 8.6 per cent in 2012.

“These figures indicate that the labour market prospects of new bachelor degree graduates, which fell in the 2009 AGS as a result of the global financial crisis and did not change

notably between 2010 and 2012 before falling again in 2013, have again fallen,” the report said.

“The proportion of graduates continuing in further full-time study in 2014 was 20.8 per cent, unchanged from 2013. Historically, between 1/5 and 1/4 of respondents elect to continue in further full-time study.

“Of those graduates available for full-time employment, females were more likely than males (68.5 and 67.6 per cent respectively) to have found a full-time position by the time of the survey.”

The report said that higher education still appeared to open more doors for young people hoping to enter the workforce.

“However, GCA’s Beyond Graduation Survey (BGS) indicates that the middle- and longer-term outlook is very positive, with the employment figures for 2010 graduates growing by 14 percentage points three years later,” the report said.

“Bachelor degree graduates in the wider Australian workforce (aged 15-74) had (at the time of the survey) an unemployment rate of just 3.2 per cent compared with an overall rate of 5.8 per cent and 8.2 per cent for those with no post-school qualifications.”

The report also found that female graduates that were able to find work were likely to start on a lower wage than their male counterparts.

“The 2014 median annual starting salary for Australian resident new bachelor degree graduates aged less than 25 and in their first full-time employment in Australia (was) $52,500, essentially unchanged from $52,450 in 2013 and $52,000 in 2012,” the report said.

“This was 74.0 per cent of the annual rate of male average weekly earnings (MAWE, $70,959) at the time of the AGS.

“In dollar terms, the 2014 median starting salary for all graduates rose by just $50 (or 0.1 per cent) from $52,450 while the MAWE figure rose from $70,548 to $70,959 (or by 0.6 per cent) over the same period.

“In 2014, new male graduates earned a median salary of $55,000, while new female graduates started work on a median salary of $52,000.”

The report said that an analysis of surveys undertaken over previous years suggested that “much of the earnings gap between new male and female graduates was determined largely by field of education choices often made prior to university enrolment”.

“The analysis suggested that when the field of education, personal, enrolment and occupational characteristics of male and female graduates were taken into account, overall males’ starting salaries were 4.4 per cent higher than those for females,” the report said.

“It highlighted the overall wage gap favouring males as being due, in part, to an over-representation of males in fields of education that typically had higher starting salaries,

such as Engineering. Alternatively, females outnumbered males when it came to Humanities, which was ranked at the lower end of the salary distribution.”

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Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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