What’s going to happen to the graduate job market?

I can’t pretend to know what’s going to happen in the UK in the next half hour, never mind the next 6 months – other than I’m pretty sure we’ll soon hear lots of press stories and anecdotes about problems in the job market (they’ve started already).

We’re in unprecedented times so history may not be an accurate predictor of what’s to come, but it’s worth looking at what happened to the graduate job market in the last recession.

The press quickly dubbed the graduating classes of 2007/8/9  “The Lost Generation”, with story after story about how there were no jobs out there.

These certainly were tougher times and some types of work were in very short supply, which caused some graduates real problems.

However, to put these stories of job market meltdown into perspective, this is what happened to the number of vacancies for full-time graduate jobs which came into the Careers Service at the University of Manchester over the early years of the recession and the preceding years:


You can see that the number of ads we received did drop – but 2008/9 was still above the number of ads we received in 2004/5. And that’s as bad as it got for us.

What’s happened since:
Unfortunately, we changed our database and the way we classified ads at that point, so I’ve got a year missing – but here’s our latest data:


You can see we quickly recovered and we soon exceeded our highest point over the previous 10 years. What’s more, this year has been about 10% up on last year so far.

We’re certainly not complacent and we’ll continue to track vacancies as they come in to us, to look for any early warning signs of problems emerging.

However, we’ve learnt that you can’t immediately assume that what you read about graduate jobs in the press is the whole story –

“Graduate jobs down a bit, but still lots to play for”

is never going to make it as a headline.

We’ll keep you updated with any trends as they emerge, but more importantly, we’re here if any University of Manchester student or recent graduate (within the last two years) needs us – talk to us in person, by email, by phone, by Skype or by online chat, all through the summer and beyond.

Right, now I’m off back to social media to find out what on earth’s happened since I started writing this post …



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