Graduate Labour Market Survey 2021

More labour market data delights from the Westminster government

David Kernohan is Acting Editor of Wonkhe

The Graduate Labour Market Survey (GLMS), what’s that then?

Well, I’ve written about the genesis of it as an adjunct to the wider and venerable labour force survey before, but suffice it to say that it looks at what all graduates between 21-30 are doing in the labour market, and there is a wider slice looking at 16-64 activity. You’ll note that this treats graduates as group unbound by precise age (cohorts matter less here than in LEO) and what we lose in the appearance of fidelity – this is survey not population data -we gain in generalisability.

Today we got the 2021 iteration – I’ve focused on destinations data, though there is also stuff on salaries for those interested.

Graduate premium?

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This is the destination of three broad groups (graduate, postgraduate, non-graduates) over the two age ranges in terms of highly skilled employment (usual SOC top level definition), all employment, and unemployment. You’ll see highly skilled employment for young graduates back at pre-pandemic levels, and all employment approaching 2008 levels.

Attainment and ethnicity

There’s also stuff on the currently modish impact of degree classifications. You’ll see that taking a longer view here means we can see that you are less likely to work in a high skilled job with a third, but overall employment rates also suffer. However, the absence of data on inactivity and unemployment should remind us that very few people actually get a third – instead we need to note that the 2:2 and 2:1 difference is perhaps not as sharp as otherwise thought.

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On ethnicity, we can see that being Black or from another minority ethnic group while seeking employment still causes graduates problems. Nearly 61 per cent of white graduates between 21 and 30 have a highly skilled job, compared to 48.7 per cent of Black graduates. And the problem does not disappear over a career – for the 16-64 split 51.6 per cent of Black graduates have a high skilled job, compared with 66.5 per cent of white graduates.

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