The jobless rate for graduates dropped to 3.2 per cent, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics – and compares to an 8.2 per cent rate for those without a post-school qualification.
“These numbers reinforce that beyond the many other benefits, having a university degree significantly reduces your chances of unemployment,” said Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
“Australia’s universities are proud that the high-quality education they deliver helps people to transform lives, embark on new careers, and take vital new skills into a competitive job market.”
In May this year, 37.1 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 had a bachelor degree – slightly below the 37.3 per cent recorded in May 2015.
In this age bracket, 41.6 per cent of women and 32.3 per cent of men have a bachelor’s degree.
There are also significant variations in educational attainment levels across geographical areas.
Those who live in our major cities are twice as likely as people living in outer regional and remote areas to have a bachelor’s degree.
In May 2016, Australia’s major cities recorded university attainment rates of 42.2 per cent, compared to 17.2 per cent for outer regional areas and 19.1 per cent for remote and very remote areas.
“There is more to be done to lift university attainment for people living in Australia’s outer regional and remote areas – and our regional universities play a vital role in that task,” Ms Robinson said.
The data also shows that people with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to be employed.
Eighty per cent of people with a bachelor degree or above, 75 per cent of people with an advanced diploma or diploma, and 76 per cent of people with a Certificate III or IV were employed in May 2016.
This compared with 67 per cent of people with Year 12 as their highest level of education.
To read the full report published today: ABS publication, 6227.0 Education and Work, Australia, May 2016.
Figure 1: Proportion of persons aged 25 to 34 years with a bachelor degree or above by remoteness area
Figure 2: Unemployment rates by level of highest qualification
Unemployment rate 2015 2016
Bachelor degree or higher 3.4% 3.2%
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 4.0% 4.4%
Certificate III/IV 4.8% 4.6%
Certificate I/II 13.9% 12.8%
Without post-school qualification 8.7% 8.2%