Starting salaries offered to graduate recruits are 6% lower than in 2009 and are not keeping up with pay rises across the economy.
This is according to XpertHR’s annual graduate recruitment survey, which also found that university leavers tend to have better pay prospects if they work in larger organisations or private sector companies.
Half of the 190 employers surveyed offered graduate starting salaries of between £20,000 and £26,000 but overall starting salaries varied greatly. The lowest paid graduate earned £12,000 and the highest received £42,500.
Part of the justification for the “substantial” tuition fee rise in 2012 is that graduate starting salaries are becoming increasingly generous; however, the report suggests that this is not the case.
Rachel Suff, author of the report, commented: “The main contextual difference between this year’s graduate salary freeze and the 2009/10 one is that last year’s took place within a negative inflation environment – this is no longer the case and pay awards are slowly creeping up as the proportion of pay freezes drops.
“It will be interesting to see if the stalling of increases to graduate salaries persists in the future, particularly in the context of increased student tuition fees.”
Graduates may also face financial pressure as the cost of living rises, with the retail prices index growing by 4.6% in September and the consumer prices index by 3.1%.
You can read the full XpertHR annual graduate recruitment survey here.