New graduates face an increasingly tough jobs market, with advertised roles down by a third from last year.
According to data from Adzuna, the jobs website, about 23,300 job vacancies were advertised for graduates in September, compared with 34,300 in the same month last year.
Across advertised roles, wages fell in almost two thirds of sectors in September, when traditionally there is a surge in job market activity.
Most employers now choose not to advertise salaries, as competition for roles increases, with the lowest level of disclosure since Adzuna’s records began in 2016. The number of advertised positions fell by 6.6 per cent in September compared with a year earlier, with the number of job seekers per vacancy now standing at 1.51, against 1.38 last year.
The data chimes with official figures on total vacancies, with the Office for National Statistics recording under a million job vacancies in the three months to September, down from a peak of 1.3 million in the three months to May.
Meanwhile, the number of young people not in education, employment or training rose to nearly 800,000, or 11.6 per cent, higher than 2019 levels after a steep drop during the pandemic.
Andrew Hunter, a co-founder of Adzuna, said: “Despite the monthly setbacks, the annual outlook presents a more positive picture. The time to fill roles has also decreased, indicating that while competition is higher, employers are making quicker decisions. It’s a mixed bag, but one that warrants cautious optimism.”
A separate survey by UK Youth, the charity, and KFC, the fast-food chain, found that nearly one in three jobs goes to personal connections. The poll found that 61 per cent of young people claimed it had become more difficult to get a job without a “way in”, while 42 per cent said their background was stopping them from landing their dream job.
A quarter of managers polled said they would be more likely to hire a candidate if they had attended the same university as them, with this figure rising to 34 per cent if a candidate shared a “similar background”.
More than one in four said they had turned an applicant down for a job because of the way they spoke, while a similar number said they had rejected an applicant because of the way they looked.
Ndidi Okezie, chief executive of UK Youth, said that “countless young people lack the opportunities, support and skills needed for secure stable employment”.