Graduate unemployment will rise to record levels if public sector budgets are cut by 25%, it was suggested today.
Around 39,000 public sector jobs are filled by UK graduates each year, but if a fifth of these jobs are lost due to funding cuts then graduate unemployment will double, according to the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU).
The regions will be hit the hardest, as the public sector recruits more graduates outside of London, the organisation said.
Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget last week that unprotected government departments would face an average real cut of around 25% over four years.
Charlie Ball, HECSU's deputy research director, said: “There are around 39,000 ‘non-frontline' public sector jobs taken by UK-domiciled graduates annually.
“Even if only a fifth of them were to go and not be replaced, then that would more than double graduate unemployment for the cohort affected in one fell swoop.
“That would put graduate unemployment over 20% and pushing towards 25%.”