The latest graduate labour market statistics for England from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills [1] shows that the employment rate for working age graduates of 87.5 percent is at the highest level seen since Q4 2007 when it stood at 88.3 percent. This is considerably more than the employment rate for non-graduates of 69.3 percent.

The unemployment rate for young graduates in Q1 2015 of 3.9 percent is also the lowest seen since 2007 when it was 3.5 percent.

Although the median graduate salary has fallen slightly by £500 to £31,000, it is still well above that of non-graduates says the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The postgraduate median salary though has risen by £1,000 to £39,000. The earnings premium between young graduates and young postgraduates has now widened from £2,000 a year ago to £4,000.

"Overall, graduates benefit from a significant earnings premium over non-graduates, although recently the earnings gap between non-graduate and graduates in the working age population has narrowed" the department report said.

Commenting on the figures TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

Mortar Board (PD)“While university leavers are still better paid and more likely to have a job than non-graduates of the same age, today’s figures show their prospects are worsening, just as their debts are soaring.

“Many graduates are now finding themselves doing lower-skilled, lower-paid jobs. This is in turn pushing young people who don’t have a degree out of work altogether.

“The government’s approach of making young people pay more to get less from university is deeply unfair and makes no economic sense. If we don’t create more decent jobs UK productivity will continue to tank and young people will be unable to fulfil their potential.”

[1] www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/432873/BIS-15-304_graduate_labour_market_statistics-January_to_March_2015.pdf

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