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HECSUHigher Education Careers Services Unit (UK)
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HECSU said public sector recruitment cuts - which have hit the North East harder than most UK regions - had weakened local labour markets and resulted in a braindrain of talent to places such as London.
Jane Artess, research director at HECSU, said: "There is a big question mark over how quickly new graduates will find work.
Jane Artess, research director at HECSU, said: "Students were more likely to believe they had skills employers were looking for than they were to believe the skills they developed on their course had made them more employable, reflecting a realistic evaluation of the economic climate.
Charlie Ball, Hecsu deputy research director, said: "Graduate unemployment hasn't risen as high as we feared and is some way off the levels of the last recession in 1992, when it reached 11.6%.
Charlie Ball, HECSU's deputy research director, said: "There are around 39,000 'non-frontline' public sector jobs taken by UK-domiciled graduates annually.
Recognising that managing finances is a major issue for students, Hecsu has provided a pounds 40,000 cash pot which will be allocated via a prize draw among participants as encouragement to take part and stay the course.
There were around 20,000 fewer students graduating in 2007 than in 2010, HECSU said.
Manchester, UK: Higher Education Careers Services (HECSU).
Charlie Ball, HECSU's deputy research director, said: "There are around 39,000 public sector jobs taken by graduates annually.
HECSU deputy research director Charlie Ball said: "Many of the jobs created during the recession have been with smaller firms and therefore, when looking for vacancies, graduates should not just focus on large organisations but widen their search, taking advantage of local information, careers services and informal contacts."
Around one in 12 (8.5%) of those who graduated in 2010, some 19,785 in total, were still without a job six months later, down from 8.9% in 2009, according to the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU).
The unemployment rate for students who graduated with a Masters in 2008 stood at 4.1%, up from 3.7% in the previous year, an analysis of official figures by Hecsu, the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, shows.