TOP employers received about 39 applications for every graduate job this year amid a rise in vacancies, research suggests.

A study reveals the number of graduate ­openings has now returned to pre-recession levels, with big increases in industries such as the media, engineering and consultancy.

Overall, one-third of ­graduate employers have stepped up recruitment in the last six months, taking on more university graduates than they expected, according to a survey by High Fliers Research.

Loading article content

The survey is based on responses from 100 leading graduate employers, ­including firms such as PwC, Jaguar Land Rover and Unilever.

It reveals an 11.6 per cent increase in job openings this year, with overall recruitment returning to the same level as 2007. The highest number of vacancies is in accounting and professional services, with 4,442 available, followed by the public sector, with 3,415.

In total, 11 out of 13 ­industries have seen a year-on-year rise in vacancies for graduates.