The proportion of Australians landing full-time jobs within a few months of graduating from university has crept higher, as the jobs market continues to recover from the global financial crisis.
A new government-funded survey has found 72.9 per cent of graduates in 2017 found full-time work within four months, compared to 71.8 per cent the year before.
But the figure is still down from the 85.2 per cent of 2008 graduates who found full-time work within four months.
The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey, released on Friday, has put the gradually improving result down to the broader strengthening of the jobs market.
That comes after the global financial crisis of 2007-08 meant graduates were taking longer to gain a foothold in the labour market.
Education Minister Dan Tehan says the coalition’s sound economic management and job creation played a role in the improvement.
“We’ve been able to turn that around,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.
“Universities can skill our graduates and graduates can then have the confidence to know that when they finish, there are employment outcomes there for them.”
Ultimately 92 per cent of 2017 graduates were in some kind of employment, with 37.9 per cent working part-time, slightly down on 37.3 per cent the previous year.
The median salary for undergraduates in full-time employment is $61,000, up from $60,000 the year before.
A separate government survey on what employers think of graduates showed 84.8 per cent were satisfied with those in their ranks, up from 84.8 per cent from the year before.
Universities Australia acting chief executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said the results show going to university continues to be a good investment.
“As tens of thousands of students receive offers this week, they can rest assured that a university education will pay dividends – both professionally and personally,” she said in a statement.
Maintaining a trend in last year’s survey, 2017 graduates from regional or remote areas were more likely to secure full-time work within months than those from cities.
Their full-time employment rate was 76.7 per cent, compared with 71.8 per cent for metropolitan graduates.
Women graduates continues to earn less than men in their first year, with a median gap of $3000 or 4.8 per cent.
The gap had narrowed to $1100 last year, but had been $3600 for those who graduated in 2015.