More male than female graduates are unemployed / Flickr (renee.hawk)

The proportion of unemployed male graduates significantly outnumbers unemployed female grads, recent statistics show

We’ve become used to seeing women outperform men in academia, but now new figures show that more female graduates found employment in 2011/12 than their male counterparts.

According to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 11 per cent of male graduates were unemployed after completing their first degree in 2011/12, compared to 7.2 per cent of female graduates.

The figures were replicated across the academic table. Only 5.6 per cent of women who had taken postgraduate studies were unemployed, while 8 per cent of postgraduate men had not found employment.

The percentage of 2011/12 higher education leavers who were unemployed nationally was reckoned by the survey at 7.1 per cent.

Although male graduate employment is above the national average, the difference between the genders is noticeably slight. Of first-time degree takers, 53.2 per cent of women are in employment, in comparison to 52.1 per cent of men. The difference between postgraduates is less than three per cent, with more women in full-time work.

Interestingly, more male graduates are in further study than women: nine per cent of postgraduate men claimed to be in further study,while just over six per cent of similarly educated women claimed to also be continuing their studies, perhaps going some way to explain the disparity between the sexes.

The statistics were taken from a survey which asked graduates their 'destinations' (full-time employment, part-time work and further study among other options), six months after they had completed their studies. Over 400,000 UK and EU students from 163 UK higher education institutions responded to the survey, roughly 70 per cent of those eligible to take it. The survey is in new form, asking graduates to indicate which 'destination' is the most important to them.

This follows a recent survey indicating that women are still being paid less than men, despite being similarly qualified.