Just 2.2 percent of graduates had no work in 2011 according to figures issued on Tuesday by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) – part of the Federal Employment Agency.
Even in 2006, just 3.6 percent of all university graduates were unemployed, while in 1997 the rate was higher at 4.5 percent.
Technical college graduates also have good prospects for finding work – just 2.5 percent were unemployed in 2011, down from 3.3 percent jobless in 2006.
Yet although graduates were usually working, many did not have the kind of job they may have wanted.
“In 2009, almost every third tertiary education graduate had a non-standard job,” said Brigitte Weber und Enzo Weber, the authors of the study.
Academics were actually more likely to be employed on just a short-term basis than those with a vocational education. Yet most academics do generally end up with a steady job, they said.
The risk of unemployment was also relatively low for those who had completed an apprenticeship or got a degree from a vocational college. The report said that just 5.1 percent were jobless in 2011, while that share had been 8.5 in 2006.
Those without vocational training had nearly four times as high a risk of being unemployed, with a rate of 19.6 percent joblessness in 2011.
The major problem for them was a decline in the number of jobs for which they would be suitable, the study authors said. The number of poorly qualified workers dropped from 5.7 million in 2006 to 5.1 million in 2011.
The authors concluded: “Education is the best protection against unemployment”.