Date
24 May 2017
There aren't enough professional, managerial and executive job openings for graduates, so many will have to settle for less. Photo: HKEJ
There aren't enough professional, managerial and executive job openings for graduates, so many will have to settle for less. Photo: HKEJ

University grads forced to accept lower-level jobs, poorer pay

Fresh graduates from universities are in for a tough ride as job vacancies for professionals, managers and executives are in short supply this year, Headline Daily reported Wednesday.

One-third of university graduates between 2008 and 2015 could secure only sub-professional positions and were earning an average of HK$20,000 (US$2,576) a month last year, half the average salary paid to professionals.

What is more worrying for graduates is that a quarter (26 percent) of the graduates during the period found themselves working as clerks, customer service reps and sales people with a median income of HK$11,000-HK$13,000.

The proportion of graduates working at this level was double that during the period between 1994 and 2001.

A research group of the Legislative Council Secretariat pointed out that competition for the sub-professional openings is getting intense and university graduates are forced to accept lower-level jobs.

The secretariat said in a report it published Tuesday that 850,000 degree holders entered the local job market during the 12 years from 1994 to 2015, but there were only 670,000 new executive openings during the same period.

In 2015, the number of degree holders made up 29 percent of the local workforce, more than double the 9 percent in 1994, meaning that the number of executive openings has failed to catch up with the growth of human capital.

The study also cited a finding from a research project done in 2013.

Of the university graduates born in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, those born in the ’80s were found to have earned the lowest median income of HK$14,800 a month, compared with HK$19,200 for those born in the 1970s, a decline of HK$4,400.

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