No Jobs, No future?


The recession has not only hit the whole nation hard in terms of unemployment, but the rise in jobless 16-24-year-olds has also been on the increase each year since 2008. Even prior to the recession in 2004 one in eight was unemployed, however this shot up in 2008, with the rate continuing to double each year.

Shocking figures were recently published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which revealed that the number of jobless young people reached the one million mark, with the number currently standing at 1.02 million.  It has become apparent that in the last three months alone, unemployment has risen by 67,000, making it the worst record since 1992.

The number of Jobless young people reached the one million mark

What makes it so difficult for students to get jobs?

The current economic downturn which firms are facing means that they are making huge losses in terms of revenue.  They therefore need to make cuts, which often means making employees redundant combined with not encouraging further employment. Despite the fact that students are often cheaper, they usually produce less value to a company due to their lack of experience and the resulting low productivity levels. This also makes young people more vulnerable to being ‘laid off’ because it is easier for firms, particularly as the redundancy pay for older employees is much more costly than simply turning away a younger employee. Therefore in a recession, the ratio of younger unemployed people rises compared to the number of older, jobless people.

However, and perhaps more importantly, what does this mean in terms of future graduate jobs?

It has become clear that since 1997, that there has been a huge rise in numbers going to university with the figures growing from 1.8 million to 2.5 million. With this increase, it means that there will be more graduates who cannot get jobs, as they continue to swamp the ever-diminishing job market. Consequently, graduates have been taking jobs in desperation, ones which they feel “they are overqualified to do”.  However, with huge demand for even the most basic jobs, it leaves many graduates having to take whatever they can get their hands on.

Graduates are taking jobs they are over qualified to do

According to Proffessor Van Reenam though, these ‘doom and gloom’ figures might be short lived. The fact that students are developing new skills through gaining degrees, in the longer term, will give them some protection in terms of their wages and unemployment levels. Therefore, a student with a degree is in a much better position than one without. This is further supported by the belief that those without a degree appear to be “locked out of the job market for good”.

It is clearly going to be a tough few years in the job market, as Britain attempts to pull itself out of the recession. However, it appears that if young graduates simply ‘stick it out’ they will eventually reap the benefits, as their qualifications will secure them decent wages in the future.



Hello, I'm Helen van Riel and I'm studying Economics and Politics. I'm originally from West Sussex, however as you can tell from my surname I'm also half dutch. My interest in writing begun at school, however I particularly like writing on the subject of current affairs and politics as it allows me to combine my knowledge from my course and also use writing skills. I very much enjoy reading 'The Economist' and this would definitely be my dream job in the future!

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