New Census figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics have shown that qualifications matter when job-hunting. The data, made public as part of the drip-feed of information from the 2011 Census, shows a huge gulf in employment between those with qualifications and those without. Among UK residents with no qualifications whatsoever the employment rate is less than half (48.5%), compared to 4 out of 5 for those with at least one qualification (80.7%). The chances of finding employment double for people with just a single qualification.

Unsurprisingly, the employment rate rises with the level of qualification attained, and those with Bachelors or Masters degrees or higher have an employment rate of around 85%.

The data shows that the self-employed are more likely to be University graduates than their salaried counterparts – 34.3% of freelancers and contractors have degrees, compared to 32.8% of permanent employees.

Proving that starting your own business can be an important lifeline for those unable to find traditional jobs, the number of unqualified self-employed individuals is also higher than those in traditional employment – 13.7% vs 10.7%.

The data also showed that permanent employees are more than twice as likely to have undertaken an Apprenticeship than the self-employed – although both rates were still low compared to all other qualifications. Just under 3% of freelancers and contractors had completed an Apprenticeship, compared to just under 6% for employees.

The full data from this release can be viewed on the ONS website.

Photo by Md Saab Andalib