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Unemployment: Graduates

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of graduates were unemployed six months after obtaining their degree in each year since 1997. (304164)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Jil Matheson, dated December 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many and what proportion of graduates were unemployed six months after obtaining their degree in each year since 1997. (304164)

Estimates for unemployment are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The economic status of graduates six months after obtaining their degree is not recorded in the LFS. However, estimates for unemployed graduates who have gained a degree in the last twelve months are available on an annual basis from quarter 2 2005.

The information provided in the attached table shows the unemployment level of those who gained a degree in the last twelve months, the proportion who are unemployed and their unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is the number of graduates who are unemployed divided by the number of graduates who are economically active (in employment or unemployed), in accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

The figures in the table are derived from the LFS microdata which are weighted using the official population estimates published in autumn 2007. Consequently the estimates from Q3 2006 are not entirely consistent with the figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release, which are weighted using more up-to-date population estimates.

Unemployment level, rate and proportion of people who had gained a degree or equivalent in the previous 12 months, Quarter 2 each year, 2005-09, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted

Thousand and per cent.

Level1

Rate

Proportion2

2005

23,752

5.8

4.8

2006

42,207

8.6

7.4

2007

33,097

6.3

5.5

2008

38,615

7.1

6.1

2009

***65,360

11.4

9.4

1 Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates, as described below:

Guide to Quality:

The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent. we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220

KeyCoefficient of Variation (CV) (%)Statistical Robustness

* 0 ≤ CV<5 Estimates are considered precise

** 5 ≤ CV <10 Estimates are considered reasonably precise

*** 10 ≤ CV <20 Estimates are considered acceptable

**** CV ≥ 20 Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes

2 The number of people who are unemployed divided by the total population.

Notes:

1. The number of people who are unemployed divided by the number of people who are economically active.

2. It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels mobile home sites, etc.).

Source:

Labour Force Survey