Almost two thirds of university students approaching graduation have had job applications paused or withdrawn because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey.
A poll of more than 5,000 students by YouGov found that 80 per cent are worried about how the uncertainty of the situation may impact their grades.
Some 83 per cent of students set to graduate this year say they feel under more pressure because of Covid-19 and the upheaval it has caused.
The class of 2020 will enter the most difficult jobs market since the financial crisis or even the depression of the 1930s, with the economy facing a sharp contraction this year.
Data from the government’s budget watchdog on Tuesday suggested the UK economy could shrink by as much as 35 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 – the largest drop in more than 100 years.
YouGov’s survey, which was carried out before the latest dire warnings on the economy, found that 49 per cent of would-be graduates were confident of securing a job before the pandemic, but that has dropped to one third.
The Bright Network, a careeers organisation which commissioned the research, said graduates need support to find jobs and help rebuild the economy.
James Uffindell, founder of the organisation, which aims to connect young people from all backgrounds with the world’s leading employers, said: “In these uncertain times, graduates need all the help they can get to understand what the opportunities are, and how best to find them.
“It’s incumbent on universities, employers and services like ours to step up our support to ensure graduates are getting into the right careers – helping to rebuild an economy that will have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Young people are among those who will be worst affected economically by the coronavirus crisis, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
The think tank found a “remarkable concentration” of young workers, people on low pay and women, in the industries that have been hit hardest such as hospitality.