The Institute of Student Employer’s (ISE) Pulse Survey 2020 reports that the entry-level jobs market is set to remain stagnant this year.
Only public sector and charity employers are planning to increase vacancies substantially, according to the ISE Pulse Survey 2020.
Graduate recruitment has slowed to its worst growth rate since 2016, with employers only planning to increase these vacancies by 3% in 2020. For context, this time last year, employers were predicting 18% growth in graduate numbers, and the ISE’s own end of year survey had employers reporting a 10% rise.
The graduate labour market is only being prevented from contracting thanks to the aforementioned areas of charity and public sector increasing their recruitment – predicted to be 14% this year; it is in line with government pledges in the Queen’s Speech to spend more on the NHS and on the Police force.
Elsewhere in the ISE Pulse Survey 2020, employers say they are increasing vacancies onto apprenticeships and school leavers programmes by only 2%, while last year, this figure was 7%.
It suggests the growth of non-graduate numbers stimulated by the apprenticeship levy is peaking.
The research shows that the legal sector is expecting a 14% decline in the number of non-graduate entry-level hires; at the other end of the spectrum, the construction sector (11%) and digital and IT industry (25%) are expecting the number of these hires to rise.
Stephen Isherwood is the ISE Chief Executive. He described the numbers as “concerning.”
He said: “The graduate jobs market is an early indicator of the health of the economy as employers tend to plan further ahead when deciding their graduate recruitment needs.
“What we’re seeing now is particularly concerning as employers are normally over optimistic at this time of year.
“As we move through the recruitment season they typically recruit less than they had anticipated.
“Government needs to get the economy moving otherwise this year we’ll be in for a stagnant graduate labour market at best.”