For working-age graduates, employment rates continued to rise, increasing by 0.7 percentage points compared to 2021 to 87.3% in 2022.This follows a period of sustained increases between 2009 and 2018, when the rate peaked at 87.7%, but was followed by decreases in 2019 and 2020. The working-age graduate employment rate has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
The working-age postgraduate employment rate rose by 1.1 percentage points in 2022 compared to 2021, which was larger than the 0.7 percentage point increase for working-age graduates. The employment rate for working-age postgraduates is now above pre-pandemic-levels.
Rates for working-age non-graduates fell in 2022 by 0.2 percentage points. This follows decreases since 2019, showing that working-age non-graduates' employment rates post-pandemic are not yet recovering.
For information on the employment rates of the young population, please refer to the Headline Outcomes section.
The likelihood of being in high-skilled employment increases as the level of education increases (from non-graduate to graduate to postgraduate). Only 23.6% of non-graduates were in high-skilled employment, whereas the rate for graduates was 66.3% and for postgraduates it was 78.3%. Whilst there was a difference of only 2 percentage points between graduate and postgraduate employment rates, there was a greater difference between their respective high skilled employment rates, which was 12 percentage points higher for postgraduates than for graduates. Similarly, the gap between the high-skilled employment rate for graduates and non-graduates is higher than the overall employment rate gap.
Median (nominal) salaries increased for both graduates and non-graduates in 2022, with the graduate premium (represented by the difference between the two salaries) widening to £11,500 compared to £10,500 in 2021. However, in real terms (2007 prices, using CPI-H) the graduate premium for 2022 becomes £8,000.
In nominal terms, salaries increased for all groups. However, in real terms, salaries for graduates and non-graduates remained the same from 2021 to 2022, whilst postgraduates saw a decrease of £1,000.
Comparisons over time and other interpretations of these data should be made with caution. The median salary figures in this publication are rounded to the nearest £500. Please note, salaries are calculated using earnings from individuals’ full-time main jobs only.