Graduates leaving university in search of their first job are becoming more demanding when it comes to their salaries, especially as the economy continues to thrive.

In a survey of 10,000 employees by Ranstad, a clear shift in graduate job seekers’ attitudes can be seen, especially when compared to 2011-12, when they cared less about their salary and more about the role itself.

Celebrating an improving economy

The report found that one in five graduates entering the job market in 2015 said pay was the most important factor when choosing a role and an employer, compared to one in 10 in 2012.

This research therefore backs the evidence that young people’s fortunes are finally improving, after they were hit the hardest during the financial crisis in 2008.

Meanwhile, unemployment among those aged 16-24 has also dropped from 22.5% in 2011 to 15.9% in 2015.

Having the power to negotiate

Mark Bull, Chief Executive at Ranstad, said that because employers are competing for limited amounts of talent, graduates now have the power to negotiate their pay.

Due to these money-driven young professionals also having to pay back large student loans, he added their incentive to get a good starting salary is even more powerful and that employers should be aware of that.

However, it hasn’t been good news for all, as research published by Resolution Foundation highlights that those individuals who started their professional career a few years ago – when the economy was still weak – are earning around £2,800 less every year than those born five years earlier.

But, with the economy continuing to strengthen, the confidence of graduates is also increasing, giving them the chance to move from one job to another in search of that big pay packet.

Are you a graduate employer? If you’re looking for the latest talent, speak to Discovery Graduates today