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Graduate employment and earnings under the spotlight

16 June 2017

This week saw the publication by the Department for Education of experimental new statistics looking at graduate employment and earnings. LEO, the Longitudinal Education Outcomes, data 1 are based on actual HMRC and Department for Work and Pensions records of earnings rather than surveys of past students – making it possible to have a far greater insight into graduate employment and earnings.

LEO looks at tax year 2014-5 for those who graduated with an undergraduate degree in 2008-9, 2010-1 and 2012-3 from a higher education institution in Great Britain.

The headline results include:

-       Median average earning are highest for graduates of medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, economics, engineering and technology.

-       Highest earnings are in business, law and economics – but the range of salaries for these graduates is very wide – with a few very high earners.

-       For all subjects except English Studies, male median earnings exceed female median earnings – so the gender pay gap remains a live issue.

The latest government statistics on graduate earnings2 show that graduates, on average, continue to earn more than non-graduates and are more likely to obtain a job. With graduates earning on average £9,500 more than non-graduates.

Commenting on the report, Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest said “Graduates continue to be in demand across the economy and the number of jobs requiring graduate skills continues to grow. Here at Gradsouthwest we are certainly seeing strong demand for graduates in the South West.”



1.    Longitudinal Education Outcomes - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-for-all-subjects-by-university

2.    Graduate labour market statistics 2016 (April 2017) - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/610805/GLMS_2016_v2.pdf


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