Even pre pandemic new grads were taking an employment hit

Full-time employment of recent UG degree grads was 68.7 per cent across November ’19-May 200, the second lowest rate reported in QILT. But graduation satisfaction was up

Employment of recent graduates declined in the year to May, due to “a weakening of the labour market” predating the pandemic, plus its impact,” the excellent Social Research Centre reports in its new  Short-term graduate outcomes paper in Australia  for the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching programme.

Grads from universities across the country suffered falls in FT employment, in-line with labour market conditions, however there were small year on year improvements at Uni Southern Queensland, UNE and Southern Cross U. The QILT report points out that grads from regional universities tend to be older, plus studying externally and part-time thus having, “a continuing connection with the labour market.”

While graduates in the generality of vocational degrees were not hit hard by the early stage of the pandemic, people in services industries were. FT work year on year for comms graduates was done 7.3 per cent (to 52.8 per cent) in May. However, grads in high-status professions exposed to the pandemic and related economic decline also took a hit, with architecture/built environment FT employment 6.8 per cent lower and dentistry down 6.2 per cent.

While the survey only covers the first few months of UG remote teaching, perhaps the best news is that, “notwithstanding the downturn in undergraduate employment, undergraduates’ satisfaction with their studies increased across all measures in 2020.”