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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Graduate hiring 'remains buoyant'
It seems UK graduates are still in demand
Companies still want to employ new graduates despite increasing evidence of an economic slowdown in the UK, a survey has suggested.

Specialist journal the IRS Employment Review asked 140 employers whether they plan to continue to take on graduates.

Almost a third of firms said they plan to recruit more graduates in the coming year, while half planned to take on a similar number to last year.

Only six firms said they would cut back on the number of graduates they employ.

The modest rise in demand for graduates amongst employers is reflected in a slight rise in starting salaries of 3%.

"The claim, by some commentators, that the UK is producing too many graduates is not borne out by our findings," Neil Rankin, editor of the IRS Employment Review, said.

"In fact, a substantial minority of employers still has problems recruiting the graduates they need."

However, as the journal only quizzed 140 firms its survey is limited in scope.

Economic slowdown

The survey is released against a backdrop of a slowing UK economy.

Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said that UK growth was at its slowest for 12 years.

In the three months to June, UK gross domestic product grew by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter, the ONS said.

Earlier, Chancellor Gordon Brown admitted that economic growth in the UK was unlikely to reach his forecast of 3-3.5% this year.

He accepted that higher oil prices would lead to slower growth after criticism from the International Monetary Fund and other independent forecasters.

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