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Earning gap between female graduates and non-graduates is over three times, shows report

Earning gap between female graduates and non-graduates is over three times, shows report

A new academic report has found that women who graduate with a degree earn three times as much as those who do not.

According to researchers at the think tank Institute for Fiscal Studies, in association with Cambridge and Harvard universities, there is a £13,200 graduate premium for yearly wages.

Anonymous tax data

The analysis was based on salary data held by the Student Loans Company and HM Revenue & Customs, covering records for more than a quarter of a million graduates who studied in the UK between 1998 and 2011.

Their earnings for the year 2011-2012 then formed the basis of the results, and they found that a female non-graduate in her early thirties had a median pay of £6,300, while her peers with a degree earned £19,500.

The ONS data is based on a sample of around 40,000 households, which means 100,000 individuals submit responses every three months.

The authors of the new report said: "The 'graduate premium' we identified was maintained through the recent recession, although all groups saw significant falls in their earnings during this period."

Value for women

Jack Britton, a research economist at the IFS, commented: "The value of a degree is therefore particularly true for women."

"A degree provides protection from low income and shields graduates from some of the negative impact of the recent recession," he added.

Anna Vignoles of Cambridge University said: "This study illustrates the power of using 'big data' to better understand the graduate labour market." 

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