The job market for MBAs has been relatively strong in recent years, with the average salary rising by around 4% in the last five years, according to the latest figures from the Institute for Labour Economics and Statistics.
The sector, which is dominated by people with a masters degree, employs about 1.7 million people and provides a good return on investment for employers.
However, with many of these graduates going on to find careers in management roles, there are concerns that the job market is being starved of qualified MBAs.
Read more: MBAs need to diversify to keep up with demand, says ILA study article The ILA said the number of MBAs in work has risen by just under 40% since the end of last year, while the number holding jobs in other sectors is at its lowest level in six years.
There are still 1.2 million MBAs working in the UK, with more than half of them in the private sector.
However in the public sector, the number has fallen to less than 300,000, with fewer than 200,000 in the civil service and just over 500,000 employed in the non-profit sector.
The latest figures show that MBAs account for almost one in five jobs in the economy, with one in seven people in work and one in six being in part-time employment.
In addition, almost 40% of people with MBAs do not have a full-time job.
“The MBAs are a highly sought-after group, particularly for roles in higher education and health care, where they are seen as a highly skilled, highly paid and highly flexible workforce,” said David Wilson, the ILA’s director of research and policy.
“The government is keen to keep the numbers up, and that’s why the government has made a number of significant commitments to make sure MBAs can keep their heads above water.”
The ILA, which provides data for government, employers and academics, said it is important to highlight the importance of the job to employers.
“There are more MBAs than there are jobs, but the job is still essential,” Wilson said.
“It is vital that employers and employers are aware that the role of the MBAs is crucial for the future of our economy.”
Read more on MBAs: MBA recruitment drive ‘tremendous’ and will benefit business, study says article The new ILA report shows that while the MBA market is strong, the recruitment drive to fill the jobs in this sector is being undermined by the fact that MBA graduates are not able to secure jobs.
The latest figures showed that of the more than 2.2m jobs in MBA fields in 2016-17, just over 2% were created in 2016.
This is a number that is higher than any other sector, with just under 5% of MBA jobs being created in higher learning.
The figures show, for example, that just over half of MBAT graduates were able to find jobs in higher educational teaching, research, or technical services in 2016, compared to around two-thirds of the UK workforce.
“It’s not just a matter of MBAS graduating and finding jobs in education and higher education, but that MBAS graduates are also finding jobs outside the MBATs,” said ILA director of policy Simon O’Connor.
“While the number working in a field outside the field of MBT will remain relatively high, there will be an increase in vacancies, especially if employers are not prepared to pay for a fulltime MBAs position.”
Read more from the IBEX: MBIs are more likely to be employed than graduates in most sectors, new study finds The new ILS survey also found that, overall, MBAs were not likely to get jobs in most other sectors, and they were more likely than graduates to be unemployed.
It also found there was little difference between the number in work or in part time employment in MBAT fields compared to the public and private sectors.
For example, almost one-third of MBAt graduates were unemployed, compared with just over 10% of the public service workforce.
In the private and public sectors, nearly three-quarters of MBIs were unemployed.
In 2016-18, the average monthly earnings for MBAts in the sector was just under £19,000.
While there are more than 4,500 MBAs on the books, there were just over 1,000 full-timers in the profession, the research showed.
“While MBAs have a relatively high turnover in their careers, the shortage of MBWiths in this market is a major challenge for employers,” said O’Donnell.
“As a result, MBWith recruitment will be vital to the UK’s MBAs to fill vacancies in their fields and to keep them engaged in their work.”
Read more from the ILS: The impact of the Brexit referendum on MBA employment,