Graduate Employment and Under-Employment

For those investing their time and money in university study, the uncertain prospects of finding a “graduate job” after achieving their qualification has been casting a gloom over higher education in many countries. Pessimists argue that the number of graduate jobs are not expanding fast enough to absorb the increasing number of graduates, and fear that the widespread introduction of robotic production will exacerbate this trend; while optimists emphasise the continuing average “returns” to higher education in the labour market, and expect that new jobs will emerge to replace those that disappear with new technologies. At the root of the issue is the fact that the graduate labour market is not a typical short-term micro-market, with an equilibrating price-mechanism ensuring that the supply of and demand for graduate skills remain closely aligned. With institutional and macroeconomic differences across nations, the risk for graduates of not finding employment in graduate jobs is expected to vary. In this talk I will report on a project that has been building a comparable picture of recent graduate labour markets in countries with high participation systems of higher education, especially drawing on evidence from Europe. I will analyse the supplies of graduates, the numbers of graduate jobs and the disequilibrium trends over a decade, alongside evidence of the changing dispersion of graduates’ wages.

Read presenters' biography

Posted by IAFOR