Graduates who left university in 2007 are more likely to be unemployed than those who graduated earlier in the decade, new figures reveal.

Data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show 3.6 per cent of students who graduated in 2007 are believed to be unemployed three and a half years later.

Only 2.6 per cent of students who left university in 2005, and 2.3 per cent of those who finished in 2003, were out of work three and a half years after graduation.

The figures will fuel debate over whether there are too many graduates competing for jobs, although later university leavers will have been worse hit by the global recession.

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