By Jonathan Davies

There has been a large fall in graduate unemployment, new figures suggest.

The Higher Education Careers Service Unit (Hecsu) said the rate of unemployment amongst graduates in the six months after they left university was 7.3% in January 2014, down from 8.5% a year earlier.

Hecsu deputy director Charlie Ball said it was a "fascinating example" of how quickly the graduate jobs market can change, and said students should "bear this in mind when deciding which subject to study".

The research, jointly published with the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, showed that 70% of graduates were in work six months after leaving university.

The number of people going on to further study fell to 12.4%, down from 13% last year. 5.6% were combining work with studies and 4.7% were listed as "other".

There were more graduates in professional and managerial roles, with the rate rising from 64.9% to 66.3%. And there were fewer graduates in retail, catering, waiting and bar staff roles.

Hecsu deputy director, Charlie Ball, said: "There are significant increases in employment across all sectors and the turn in fortune is spreading beyond the South East with graduates in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester doing particularly well.

"If you are located away from the major cities and are yet to feel the upturn, there's a good chance it will reach you in the months to come, assuming there are no further shocks to the economy - although there are no absolute guarantees."

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