One in Six British Workers Have Too Much Education for Their Job

Andrew Atkinson, Bloomberg

Millions of British workers are overqualified for their jobs, according to figures published Monday.

percent of 16-to-64-year-olds in employment had more education than
required for their role in 2017, the Office for National Statistics
said. It estimated overeducation among graduates at 31 percent.


Millions of U.K. workers have too much education for their current job

Source: Office for National Statistics

The figures raise questions about the extent of
under-used talent in a labor market where employment is at record
levels. Overeducation represents a cost to taxpayers and individuals,
and has been cited as a reason for Britain’s poor productivity

“Overeducation is a form of resource under-utilization, which
may have implications for the individual, firm and the economy,” the
ONS said. “It can also be seen as a form of underemployment, hence
contributing to the extent of labor market slack.”

The mismatch is now highest among 35-to-49-year-olds,
suggesting the phenomenon is becoming more persistent. Previously, it
was much higher among people age between 25 and 34, as younger people
prized getting into a job and earning experience that paid dividends

London had the highest proportion of overeducated workers
at around 25 percent. That possibly reflects higher rates of
immigration, as many foreign nationals come to the U.K. to improve their
English and are therefore willing to take lower-skilled work, the ONS

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