An increasing number of students are competing for fewer jobs, according to the Tertiary Education Commission.
Enrolments at universities, technical institutes, polytechnics and wananga are up by 8.4% on last year.
That means there are almost 16,000 additional students but the economic downturn has seen the number of jobs for graduates drop by half.
A Massey University student Mike Duindam, who is about to graduate in resource and environmental planning, told Nine to Noon that a recent job expo attracted only four companies which did not have a single position available. He says it normally hosts 15 to 20 employers.