An 8% increase in graduate job vacancies will be recorded this year, according to research company Income Data Services

Graduates on the job hunt will find considerably more vacancies this year, research suggests.

A survey of bosses suggests the number of advertised positions for graduates will increase 8% over the next 12 months.

Last year numbers were up just 0.1%.

The best place to find these additional jobs is the retail sector where an extra 30% of graduate-level jobs will be advertised, Income Data Services says.

The service sector will see 15.7% more jobs, while public sector employers say they expect an additional 5% of graduate positions to become available.

But salaries will typically not match the increase in job availability.

According to Income Data Services, around three-quarters of UK employers plan to freeze wage levels for their graduate-level staff (72%).

Continued pay freezes essentially means pay cuts because the general cost of living continues to increase. The CPI measure of inflation is currently running at 2.8%.

The researchers say, in their annual Pay And Progression For Graduates report for 2013, that graduates can expect a median starting wage of 25,500 which will remain there until at least next year.

The continuing economic crisis is said to be the main driver behind bosses' refusal to raise salaries.

But for the best rates of pay, graduates should look for work in the legal and finance sectors where median wages are a respective 36,500 and 29,250.

Income Data Services assistant editor Nasreen Rahman said: "Forecasts for graduate recruitment are much more buoyant this year compared to last, although some sectors are much more confident than others.

"An increase in the number of roles available will be welcome news for many graduates, especially if the optimism in the recruitment market can be maintained.

"Key graduate recruiters, like the legal and finance industries, are cautious about hiring large numbers of graduates but are still offering competitive salaries to lure the cream of the crop."

Copyright Press Association 2013