This year’s graduates will enter a more buoyant job market with firms stepping up efforts to attract the best young talent as the spectre of Covid recedes, new research published today reveals.
Figures from Adzuna show graduate job openings increased more than twofold over the last year, rising to 13,543 in July 2021, up from 4,647.
Starting salaries for graduates also rose 10 per cent annually, up to £24,402 from £22,201.
The green shoots in the graduate job market shows business confidence levels are improving as the UK’s economic recovery gathers momentum.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search engine Adzuna, said: “Things seem to be bouncing back just in time for the class of 2021, with our data showing 10 consecutive weeks of growth in graduate hiring and vacancies are finally returning to healthy levels.”
However, Adzuna’s research illustrates that tension is building in the graduate job market, which has been one of the slowest to recover from the pandemic.
Job openings for those leaving university are still five per cent below pre-Covid levels – when weekly vacancies averaged 14,200.
Competition for roles is intensifying as a result of the supply of graduate workers outstripping demand. Adzuna estimates that 40 graduates will compete for each job opening this summer.
Last year’s crop of graduates are likely to have struggled with weak vacancy rates amid the pandemic disruption, meaning they will be competing with this year’s cohort.
The research provides further evidence that pockets of tension are emerging across the UK labour market.
Firms are struggling with worker shortages, with recent research from IHS Markit showing the supply of full-time and part-time workers is falling at a record pace.
Latest data from the ONS shows vacancies are over 70,000 higher than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that firms are struggling to hire workers.
Hunter added: “Despite the recent rebound, the class of 2021 may still have a tough time finding their first jobs. Last year’s caution has left a hangover.”
“Youth unemployment remains high – and could get higher still when furlough wraps up in September.”