Jobless graduate numbers rocket

March 16, 2007

Unemployment rates for French students who finished their studies in 2001 were nearly double those for their predecessors who left higher education in 1998, according to a survey following young people and their progress, or lack of it, in the job market.

The latest Génération inquiry by the Centre for Research on Education, Training and Employment (Céreq) traces the employment status in 2004 of a sample of 25,000 young people who left all levels of education in 2001. On average, 11 per cent of graduates were unemployed, nearly twice the proportion of those who had graduated in 1998. However, they fared better than their age group overall, which had a jobless rate of 16 per cent.

Even worse off were the 25 per cent of young people who dropped out of higher education without any qualifications; 19 per cent had no job three years later.

The relatively high unemployment of the 2001 generation reflected the deteriorating economic situation in 2004, the report says. It found that graduates' success in finding work varied widely depending on their studies, with those who had followed certain professionally oriented courses generally doing best.

Only 2 per cent who trained as health and social workers were unemployed, and they earned as much as business school graduates, a group with a jobless rate was 13 per cent.

Also, 2001 was the first year that graduates with the new licence professionnelle , a vocational bachelors equivalent, joined the job market.

The inquiry found they had achieved "more stable employment by March 2004 and higher pay than those with general degrees."

Details: The report 2001-2004: Les Sortants de l'Enseignement Supérieur Face au Marché de Travail is available online at

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