Graduates to earn 4pc more this year

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Graduate pay is set to increase by 4 per cent this year after an “unprecedented period” of stagnation, a report has predicted.

Average salaries for university leavers are expected to reach £26,000 after staying at £25,000 since 2009, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) said.

The rise will be the biggest for seven years, although the AGR said graduate vacancies would fall by 1.2 per cent in 2012 after a slight increase last year.

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, said: “The predicted increase to graduate salaries is significant and sizeable, particularly given the context of starting salaries remaining stagnant for the past three years. This will no doubt be welcome news to the Government and the higher education sector, but moreover to graduates themselves.

“The findings show that the market is predicted to remain relatively stable, which is a relief and should be seen as good news against an uncertain national, European and global economy.”