From education to employment

Over 100 graduates will compete for every job in the UK this summer

University graduates entering the workforce this summer will face a tough year ahead according to the latest research by @Adzuna 

Economic uncertainty and high unemployment rates saw graduate jobs fall to their lowest levels in June according to the latest job market figures. 

Graduates have been among the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic this year. A heightened period of instability saw UK job vacancies halve in the space of just six months and unfortunately, graduates have faced the brunt of job losses this summer.  Graduate vacancies have fallen by 73% year to date, losing over 10,000 jobs.

This precipitous drop in vacancies, coupled with the number of graduates flooding the market this summer means competition will reach an all-time high this summer, with over 100 graduates battling it out for every single open position. A large number of high-profile employers have either canceled or postponed graduate schemes this year and the landscape for young people entering the job market for the first time has changed drastically as a result

Graduate jobs weekly breakdown below:

Not all is lost for new graduates looking for work this year, there are still 3,993 graduate jobs scattered across the UK. This is a far cry from the graduate numbers we saw at the beginning of the year, which peaked at 14,894. However, the chancellor’s recent kickstart scheme should provide some comfort to young people entering the job market for the first time. The new plan will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment. This should see new positions start open up again in the short term.  

As it stands, London has the highest proportion of graduate jobs in the UK with over a  thousand vacancies within the Teaching, Healthcare, IT and Engineering industries. The capital city also boasts the highest graduate salary of £29,653. The South East of England is in second position with just over 500 vacancies, followed by the North West with 416 vacancies. Despite the fall in vacancies Looking at year-on-year salaries at a UK level, rates of pay have held up well. The average advertised salary for a graduate role in H2 of 2019 was £24,000, this has dropped fractionally to £23,200 in 2020 (-3.3%). It would appear that those who are still taking on entry-level staff are prepared to maintain wages.

The regional split of current graduate hiring can be found below, along with the average salaries paid.


Live Graduate Jobs 6th May 2020

Average Salary




South East England



North West England



Eastern England



West Midlands



South-West England



Yorkshire and the Humber



East Midlands









North East England



Northern Ireland



Andrew Hunter, Co-founder of Adzuna remarked:

“The summer of 2020 looks set to be extremely challenging for graduate job hunters. In the 10 years we have been collecting and analysing employment market data, I have never seen such a huge supply and demand imbalance. Competition for the few remaining graduate roles will be intense: we anticipate there being well over 100 candidates applying for each vacancy and further big cuts to entry-level recruitment to come. Much like the 08/09′ recession, graduates recruitment is proving to be one of the hardest sectors hit.

“The kickstart scheme is great news for young people entering the job market for the first time, but it could also be a shortsighted plan to boost jobs in the long term. Many workers fear that their job could be under risk after the six-month Government subsidy is up and we could end up in the same position we are in now, which will be a likely outcome in many cases” 

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