“For the last decade the number of people obtaining a degree has increased, yet many are now finding that in today’s economic climate, a white collar education can lead to a blue collar job,” said Mr Churchwood.
The said that the figures will “force some young people to question the value of a university education”.
“If three years of study leaves them with a McJob, is it worth it?” he said. It also follows criticims of the standard of some university courses as students prepare to pay increased tuition fees.
Despite the jobs squeeze for graduates, the ONS’s figures showed that people with degrees typically earn far more than people without degrees.
Average hourly wages for people with degrees from all age groups was £15.18 last year. This is 70 per cent higher than the £8.92 average earned by people without degrees.
There was also a large discrepancy within the ranks of people with degrees, the ONS found.
While those with a degree in medicine or dentistry earned an average of £21.29 an hour, graduates with an arts degree earned just £12.06 an hour.