Graduates are struggling to secure employment as an influx of skilled workers return to the work force following the recession.

Nancy Schaeffer, president of Youth Employment Service, blames the employment challenge of many high school and university graduates on the recently depressed economy.

"This is the worst I've ever seen it in past 20 years," Schaeffer said.

"Because there were a lot of layoffs last year, and the year before, (employers are) now in a position if they're going to rehire, they're going to hire their experienced workers back.

"They're not going to hire young inexperienced workers."

Statistics Canada reports that while employment rates have risen steadily since bottoming out at the beginning of 2009, full-time jobs for youths are disappearing.

Year-over-year more than 70,000 youths in Canada are without full-time jobs while in Toronto there are about 32,000 fewer youth without jobs.

Joan Wamiti, who recently graduated with an economics degree, admits that finding work has been a challenge.

"I've been looking for about a month...I don't have a job yet," she said.

A University of Toronto survey of 1,750 recent graduates has found that nearly one-fifth of the respondents are still looking for work.

Of those who are working, only 40 per cent have found jobs in fields close to what they studied.

Wamiti is committed to looking for work through the summer.

"But after that I'm going to take anything I can get. Tim Hortons, Starbucks."