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17th August 2017

Moving home after university is negatively impacting graduates’ careers

A Resolution Foundation study has found that graduates not moving for work is having a marked effect on Britain’s dismal pay and productivity records

Going home after graduation could have more of an effect on Britain’s economy than you might think.

A study by the Resolution Foundation has reported that graduates who opt to return home after their studies is causing a dramatic decrease in labour mobility in Britain. The population prepared to change the region they live in for work has decreased from 0.8% to 0.6% in 2016.

The think tank’s findings have concluded that this makes millennials far less mobile than the generation preceding. Also, they’re more likely then the previous generations to apply for jobs that they are overqualified for, due to this reluctance to move.

In 2001, 31% of graduates were in roles that they were overqualified for and 1.8% of graduates changed their region and employer. When looking at 2016 the numbers show a different trend; 1% of graduates had moved for degree-level employment and 35.6% were in non-graduate employment.

But how is this affecting the economy?

Stephen Clarke, a policy analyst from Resolution Foundation, explained to The Mancunion why this development is a concern: “the decline in internal migration and job-to-job moves means that graduates could be missing out on pay rises early on in their careers.”

According to Clarke the reason this is an issue for the economy is because the “inertia is contributing to the fact that this generation of young people are earning less than the previous generation at their age.”

The willingness to work for jobs they are overqualified for is one of the explanations for Britain’s poor pay and productivity record. According to the think tank’s research, it means graduates miss out on possible pay rises, as a person under 30 who moves for employment has the opportunity to secure an 11% increase to their wages.

Living away from home can be incredibly expensive, which is likely motivating many graduates to stay at home and save. As most degrees are unlikely to automatically place one in a job, let alone the ideal one, going home can be the most secure and stress free option.

In a statement to The Guardian the Resolution Foundation said that there should be an emphasis on improving how people move into jobs they are qualified for, without causing too much disruption. Therefore attention should be diverted into improving transport and housing so as to increase the benefits of moving to a different region for the right job.

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