A poll by talent management firm SHL interviewed 1,000 students in England who have graduated in the past three years and found that 60 per cent do not have a graduate job.
If these figures were replicated across the population, it would mean about 611,000 graduates are without a degree-level job.
The SHL vice-president, Sean Howard, said: "The UK is failing its graduates. School leavers are faced with difficult decisions. Not only has the cost of going to university risen, but UK employment options are bleak.
"Graduates are under pressure to undertake unpaid internships to gain a foothold on the career ladder. It's not just university that carries a high price, but gaining work experience too."