According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters bi-annual survey, vacancies are down overall by 5.4% compared with last year which is a result of the credit crisis and financial problems felt throughout the job market. In the financial section, recruitment is down by around 8% and the starting wages are frozen at 2008 averages which is around £25,000. It is the first time since 2003 that the recruitment market for graduates has decreased but it is not all bad news as certain sectors have shown some increases. Examples include the food and drink and engineering sectors.
The Associated Chief Carl Gilleard has stated that “the only certainty is uncertainty,” he represents and surveys 245 of the largest recruiters from the public and private sector who in 2008 recruited over 21,000 graduates and regularly contribute to the survey. The latest survey shows that nearly half of those completing the survey are expecting to hire a lower number of graduates this year, which could leave many former students with real problems getting a foot upon the career ladder even when using an online recruitment agency. The figures so far are not as dramatic as those collected in 2003 which saw the largest decrease in graduate jobs at 32% and certainly not as bad as the results from 1990-1991 which was 19% at the start of the last recession.