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Comparison of HESA destinations survey and ONS Labour Force Survey

A report published today, commissioned by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), concluded that older female graduates are less likely to be in graduate level employment than younger female graduates.

The report compared the results of two surveys of graduate employment. The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Longitudinal survey, conducted by HESA in 2007, was compared with the Labour Force Survey (LFS) conducted quarterly by the Office for National Statistics. The DLHE Longitudinal survey asked leavers what they were doing 3½ years after they had left university. The LFS is a survey which samples all households in the UK.

While the DLHE Longitudinal survey covers only recent graduates, the LFS surveys people of all ages. The new report found that both surveys produced similar results for graduates, including the finding that the unemployment rate for graduates was 2% in both surveys.

The most striking difference emerged when comparing the employment of recent female graduates from the DLHE Longitudinal with female graduates of all ages from the LFS. The DLHE Longitudinal shows that 90% of recent female graduates were in employment, compared to the LFS finding that 85% of all female graduates are in employment. Of those females in employment, 81% of DLHE Longitudinal respondents were in graduate level jobs, compared to 72% of employed female graduates in the LFS.

Notes for editors:

  • Press enquiries should be directed to:
    • Simon Kemp
    • HESA Press Officer
    • 01242 211135
    • [email protected]
    • 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ
  • The full report, entitled Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, Comparative Report can be found h.
  • HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the UK's central source for the collection and dissemination of statistics about publicly-funded Higher Education.
  • The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is the largest independent social research institute in Britain.


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