University leavers face a jobs market that is showing signs of improvement for the first time since the recession, research suggests.
A survey of more than 200 employers in the UK reveals an 8.9% annual increase in graduate jobs.
But tough competition means it is still an "employers' market", the Association of Graduate Recruiters says.
The survey shows also that average starting salaries are still stable at £25,000 per year.
"It is heartening to see that after so many months of misery for graduates, the job market is finally picking up," said Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
But optimism is tempered by warnings that demands for jobs is continuing to outstrip supply and that employers are receiving high levels of applications.
Rita Lewin, Head of Student Employability & Success at Manchester Met, said: “There are signs that more vacancies are being taken by applicants who have carried out work placements or have experience with an employer.”
And she urged students preparing for finals in the summer to act now and contact their Faculty Careers Officer. The Careers and Employability Service offers a daily job search events.
Check out today’s offering:
Creative Applications - Room 114, Hollings Campus 14:00 Boost your experience - Room E421, John Dalton Building 14:00 Successful interviews - how to stand out from the crowd - Frances Wood FW-0-34, Crewe 12:00
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the vice-chancellors' umbrella group Universities UK, said: "Today's survey is a clear indication that UK graduates are still highly valued by employers. "University provides students with the ability to think innovatively and analytically, and provides them with the ability to develop and adapt their skills for the future."
For more careers and employability events, go here