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Does having a degree really pay off?

By Daniel Culpan

24 February2021

Job Centre Plus - unemployment According to official figures, a 21-year-old graduate has about the same chance of being out of work as a school leaver aged 16 with just one GCSE, This is Money reports.

Around 25% of both groups are currently unemployed, highlighting just how tough the current job market is for graduates looking for work after university. What's more, with six people currently applying for every job vacancy, economists have predicted that the total number of people out of work - 2.67 million - will rise further.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that 25.9% of 16-year-olds who left school with at least one GCSE at grade C or above are currently jobless. But the situation isn't much better for 21-year-old graduates, 24.8% of whom are unemployed, despite having a degree and A-levels.

At a time when students face graduating with debts of up to 50,000, the figures are likely to raise discussions of just how valuable having a degree is in the current jobs market.

Many graduates are turning to unskilled jobs - in some cases, even their old holiday jobs - in order to make ends meet.

A spokesperson for Think Money commented: "With graduates facing record levels of debt, it's certainly cause for concern that those with a degree are often in no better position, when it comes to getting a job in the current market, than those without."

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Tags: ONS, debt, unemployment, job, employment, no job, school

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