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Recent Graduates: New High in Employment in 2022

In 2022, 82 percent of recent graduates (ISCED 2011 levels 3-8) aged 20-34 in the EU were employed.  From 2014 to 2022, the employment rate for this group rose by seven percentage points (pp), showing a consistent rising trend interrupted only by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The employment rate in 2022 marked a new peak, surpassing the previous high of 81 percent achieved in 2018, a rate that had remained unchanged in 2019.

The employment rate for recent male graduates has consistently been higher than that for recent female graduates. However, in 2022, the gap was narrowed down to two pp, marking the smallest disparity recorded in the eight-year span from 2014 to 2022. Meanwhile, the largest disparity between 2014 and 2022 was recorded in 2019 (four pp). 

The disparities in employment rates may be explained by the nature of the fields studied, as there are differences in labour market demand. Women and men tend to study different fields - for example, a higher proportion of science and technology students tend to be male.

In 2022, at national level, employment rates of recent graduates were highest in Luxembourg and the Netherlands (both 93 percent), Germany (92 percent) and Malta (91 percent).

 Meanwhile, the lowest rates were reported in Italy (65 percent), Greece (66 percent) and Romania (70 percent).