Almost half of recent graduates are in jobs which do not need a higher education background, new figures have shown.
An expert said the level of under-employment revealed a “massive waste” of investment in skills.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there had been an upward trend in the proportion of recent graduates working in non-graduate jobs – up from 37 per cent in 2001 to 47 per cent this year, with most of the increase happening since the 2008/09 recession.
The figures also revealed that almost nine out of 10 graduates were in work, compared to an employment rate of 83 per cent for those educated to A-level standard, 76 per cent for GCSE, 70 per cent for other qualifications and 47 per cent for those with no qualifications.
Annual earnings for graduates increase at a faster pace as they become older, before levelling out in their late 30s at a median level of £35,000 a year, well above those without a degree, the study found.