Graduate job vacancies predicted to rise by 17%

Graduate job vacancies predicted to rise by 17%

UK employers are reporting a 17% increase in the number of graduate vacancies this year, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). This year's summer edition of AGR's bi-annual survey, which is published today (22 July 2014) compares 2014 graduate recruitment levels to the previous graduate season.

"Predicted increase of 17% in available graduate vacancies overall; with the majority of sectors showing growth"

The banking and financial services industries show the largest predicated increase of 54%, with employers from 11 of the 13* sectors surveyed expecting to take on a larger number of new graduates in 2014. Only the FMCG and energy, water and utility sectors anticipate a decrease, of 13% and 9% respectively**.

Further reflecting improved levels of business confidence, graduate starting salaries are set to improve, with the median rising £500 from last year to £27,000. Graduate investment bank or fund managers can expect the largest financial rewards, with median starting salaries of £43,500.

However, the report also reveals that many employers still had unfilled vacancies at the end of the 2013 recruitment period, with 23% of employers reporting this to be the case. Anecdotally, graduate employers suggest this trend is continuing in 2014.

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the AGR, said: "The rise in vacancies and salaries shown in our summer report is fantastic news for graduates, and it is encouraging to see that employers are able to invest in graduate talent in this way.

"23% of employers did not fill all of their graduate vacancies in 2013"

"However this doesn't mean the job market is easy. There are still unfilled graduate vacancies as employers are not always able to find the right people, with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes, for the job. Graduates must ensure they really do their research, target their applications and ensure their CVs do them justice if they want to be in with a good chance of securing a place on a graduate scheme following university."

Meanwhile, with social mobility becoming of increasing interest amongst employers, there has been a rise in the proportion that plan to monitor the socio-economic diversity of their graduates during the recruitment process. The report shows a 9% percentage point increase in this area from 2013.

The AGR is the leading voice of graduate recruiters and developers and its bi-annual survey provides the most extensive and detailed insight into the state of the graduate jobs market. Today's edition is based on the responses of 189 AGR members in the UK across 17 sectors, which will provide an estimated 22,076 graduate vacancies in 2014. Information was captured through an online survey that was hosted on the CFE website from May-June 2014.

The AGR Graduate Recruitment Summer Survey 2014 also contains the latest statistics on:

  • Graduate vacancies and salaries across career areas and regions
  • Graduate selection methods
  • The availability of student placements and internships
  • Graduate retention rates and salary progression

*In total 17 sectors were represented in the survey, however four of these did not have a large enough sample size to be accurately analysed. These four sectors were insurance companies, motor manufacturers and chemical or pharmaceutical companies. Sectors classed as 'other' are also not analysed as this category is too mixed to provide meaningful data.

**Vacancies by sector in 2014:

Banking or financial services


Transport or logistics company


Accountancy or professional services firm




Public sector


Engineering or industrial company


Consulting or business services firm




Investment bank or fund managers


Construction company or consultancy


Law firm


Energy, water or utility company


FMCG company -12.5%

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