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Graduate salaries hit lowest levels for a decade

Published: Wednesday, 18 April 2012   Category:

Graduates would be financially better off if they had finished their course in 2008, according to a recent report.

Figures published by Incomes Data Services (IDS), the employment related research organisation, reveals that graduate wages in 2012 are set to hit their lowest levels since 2003 (£18,524).

The research also revealed that 2008 graduates enjoyed one of the most generous salaries in the 9-year period from 2003, at an average figure of £20,601.

Undergraduates who are completing their degree courses this summer can expect to have a lower salary compared to 2011. The rate for an entry level graduate job would be £25,000.

However, according to IDS this figure will be lower in real terms if higher inflation and a 2% graduate pay cut is taken into account. This would take the graduate salary from £19,020 last year to £18,705 this year.

Nasreen Rahman, principal researcher at IDS, said: "It remains a buyer's market for graduate recruiters this year, with starting salaries set to stagnate for a further year.

"High rates of price inflation over the last few years have been eating away at the purchasing power of starting salaries for new graduates."

The survey questioned 109 graduate employers and found that 90% were planning to freeze graduate pay rates this year.  This is despite the fact that their recruitment levels for graduates were broadly the same as 2011.

"Even though the demand for graduate recruits is showing signs of revival, the competition for places means that employers are under little pressure to increase current rates despite high inflation," added Ms Rahman.

2011 figures showed that there were 46 applicants competing for each graduate role, a 12% increase on figures for the previous year.  Lawyers and bankers will still enjoy salaries above the £30k mark that have remained in place since last year. This is at £36,000 and £31,250 respectively.

What salary level are you expecting to get from your first graduate job? Would you accept a job that fell below the average rate for 2012?



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