At long last, recruiters have confirmed what so many of you already know: that the graduate jobs market is tough – and getting tougher.

New figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) show:

– 69 applicants for every graduate vacancy

– A 7% drop in the number of graduate vacancies available (on top of an 8.9% drop in 2009)

– 78% of graduate recruiters now insisting on a 2.1 minimum

Clearly, this news is demoralising for those of you battling with your job hunt this summer.

(Is this you? Then don’t miss Graduate Fog’s Advice pages How to Fight the Recession and How to Stay Motivated).

But while these new figures may not seem like good news, I actually think they are.


Because these numbers are so stark that they will make it very difficult for politicians, universities, schools and businesses to stick to their ridiculous fib that the graduate situation isn’t really that serious – when it is.

Once they admit that there is a problem here, we can start doing something about it.

Pretending everything is fine when it isn’t will not help anybody.

(Think this is tough? Read my even harsher words for politicians in today’s Scotsman.)

For a long time, Graduate Fog has been criticised for being ‘negative’ because we discuss the reality of graduate job-hunting in 2010.

This is because I refuse to spin bad news to you, as if it’s good news.

Or find a tiny sliver of good news and present it as a major breakthrough that everything is going to be fine, when in fact this situation remains extremely serious for hundreds of thousands of you.

Although this website is popular with new graduates, many visitors to Graduate Fog have been job-hunting for a while. You know that graduate vacancies are thin on the ground right now – and that competition is stiff.

So if I wrote a post with the headline ‘Good news for graduates! Big bank / massive chain takes on two extra graduates this year!’ I know that’s not going to wash with you.

If you’re smart enough to get a degree, you’re smart enough to spot a whitewash.

If you prefer to discuss what’s really happening (as opposed to what the universities and politicians wish was happening) keep coming back to Graduate Fog this summer.

I can’t promise I’ll always have good news for you – but I can promise we’ll be discussing the truth, with honesty.

*What do you think of the AGR’s latest figures announcement?
Will they help put the plight of job-seeking graduates into the spotlight? Or does all the negative talk make it harder for you to stay positive?

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