Graduates will face fewer job opportunities this year

A QUARTER of large employers believe their graduate intake will decrease in 2008 compared to the previous year, a new employment survey has shown.

Gradireland conducted the research with 211 graduate employers around the country between January and March 2008.

It found that only 2% of the surveyed firms believed they would increase their graduate intake this year. Fluctuations in the economy and a slowing of economic growth were blamed for the low level of recruiter’s confidence levels.

Specifically, the survey found that while Dublin and Connaught will both continue to see growth in graduate intake on last year, the rest of Leinster and Munster will experience a decrease.

In particular, the rest of Leinster is expected to see the greatest decline in numbers with a reduction of 25% year-on-year.

The survey’s authors also found that the average graduate starting salary has only increased by 3.8% from €26,223 in 2006/2007 to €27,224 — less than inflation levels. It found employers were now trying to find other perks to supplement the shortfall.

The average starting wage of €27,224 contrasts with £17,198 (€24,171) in the North.


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