Employment prospects for new higher education graduates have fallen for a second year running, according to a new report from Graduate Careers Australia (GCA).
The report, Graduate Destinations 2010, shows that in 2010, only 76.2 per cent of bachelor degree graduates available for full-time employment had found full-time positions within four months of course completion, compared to 79.2 per cent in 2009 and 85.2 per cent in 2008.
It is also the lowest figure since 1994.
However, there is good news for law graduates, with recent above-average employment figures showing that of all law graduates who were available for full-time employment, 82.1 per cent were in full-time employment. While this is above average, it is down on last year's figure of 87.7 per cent.
GCA research manager Bruce Guthrie said employment figures for new graduates had been affected by the global financial crisis, and continuing labour market uncertainty amongst graduate recruiters has seen graduate intakes remain conservative.
He advised final-year students to begin their job searches now if they haven't already done so, as competition for jobs will be strong.
"We are now into the recruitment season for final-year students and it seems that activity might be up a little this year, which suggests that graduate employment figures could show an improvement," he said.
The Australian Graduate Survey is conducted annually at all Australian universities, along with a number of smaller private institutions.