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Graduates set to enter UK’s strongest job market in years as starting salaries soar

City AM logo City AM 27/06/2022 Louis Goss

Graduates are set to enter the strongest job market Britain has seen in years, on the back of surging graduate salaries and a major increase in the number of graduate jobs.

Graduate salaries are up seven per cent compared to a year ago, while the number of graduate job vacancies is up 59 per cent compared to May last year, new data from Adzuna shows.

In spite of global economic crises, soaring inflation, and the UK’s cost-of-living crunch, graduate employers posted 14,690 job adverts in May this year compared to 9,265 in May 2021, as average graduate salaries jumped to six-year highs from rates of £24,389 in 2021 to £26,076 today.

The figures come as employers face fierce competition to recruit and retain talent, as part on ongoing battle between Britain’s major firms.

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Adzuna exec Paul Lewis said: “Despite the negative headlines, plenty of sectors remain desperate for talent and looking to grads to fill those gaps. It’s a welcome piece of good news for the Class of 2022, who battled remote learning and pandemic pressures over the last two years.”

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The battle for talents has seen the City’s major firms offer huge salaries to new staff in their efforts to get grads on board, as part of an upwards shift that has seen JP Morgan offer fresh graduate salaries of £70,000 a year and its rival Barclays offer £50,000.

Competition from the US has also seen the City’s major law firms offer increasingly high salaries, with graduate trainees in Davis Polk’s London office earning £60,000 and grads in Freshfields earning £50,000 a year.

At the same time, those starting on Aldi’s grad scheme are set to earn £44,000 while those working at Lidl will receive £37,000.

The research also found that graduates from London’s Bayes Business School – which changed its name from Cass in 2021 due to John Cass’ links to slavery – earned more than graduates from any other university in the UK, in taking in average salaries of £52,167 five years after graduation.

Graduates from London’s other top-ranking universities including Imperial (£47,618), UCL (£40,886) and King’s (37,324) also earned higher than average salaries after five years.

“For those wanting to earn big, London universities are good bets with grads from Imperial College, UCL, and King’s all top earners five years into their careers,” Lewis said.

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