Graduate starting salaries have gone down by 13% over the last year as the recession, together with an increase in the number of unemployed graduates, take effect.
Starting salaries for those who left education this summer averaged £22,800, 13.2% lower than last year.
Ann Swain, chief executive of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCO), which commissioned the study, said: “The slowdown in the professional-recruitment market, combined with the huge number of graduates competing for jobs means that starting salaries have edged downwards markedly this year.”
An increasing number of graduate jobs are temporary, with these jobs increasing by 15%, the survey found.
This balanced a drop of 15% in the number of permanent posts filled.
The financial services sector has seen a large part of the temping increase, as bosses gear up for reductions in permanent staff across their businesses.
However, a KPMG/Recruitment and Employment Confederation survey has suggested a slightly brighter picture for graduates, backing up the increase in temporary employment found by APSCO while finding a stable number of permanent jobs is being created.
Bernard Brown, partner at KPMG, said: “The jobs market cannot be viewed in isolation as any sustainable improvement in employment remains dependent on the growth of the economy as a whole.
“While some parts of the country may be showing signs of recovery, others are lagging behind and until an upward trajectory is seen across the whole of the UK, the jobs market will remain fragile with warnings to ‘handle with care’.”