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Trainee solicitors have emerged as the top earners in the Association of Graduate Recruiters’ (AGR) summer survey, which found that salary levels for most university leavers have remained stagnant for two consecutive years.
According to the survey, which is published today (6 July), law firms will offer the highest median starting salary at £36,500, an increase from £35,000 reported in 2009. Investment banks and fund managers meanwhile have slipped to second place with a median salary of £35,000 compared to £38,250 last year. The median starting salary across all sectors has remained unchanged at the 2008 figure of £25,000.
Law firms are also expected to buck the trend by increasing their starting salaries by 4.3 per cent. In contrast investment banks and fund managers are predicting a drop in salaries by a whopping 8.5 per cent. Other sectors that are also planning to cut salaries include IT and telecoms and consultancy and business services.
The survey also claims that the number of graduate vacancies has dropped by 6.9 per cent. This follows a drop of 8.9 per cent in 2009.
The employers that responded to the AGR survey said that on average they received almost 70 applications per vacancy advertised in 2010 – the largest number in the history of the survey. This figure represents a jump of 20 applications per vacancy since 2009 and more than double the corresponding figure in 2008.