Midland car giant Jaguar Land Rover received almost 40 applications for every graduate job this year, new research has suggested.
The company was among a string of big-name firms which reported a rise in vacancies in a survey involving 100 leading graduate employers.
The annual poll, conducted by High Fliers Research, claimed top employers received around 39 applications for every graduate role.
It revealed an 11.6 per cent increase in job openings this year, with overall recruitment returning to the same level as 2007 - before the start of the recession.
The biggest number of vacancies were in accounting and professional services (4,442 vacancies available), the public sector (3,415 job openings), investment banking (2,148 openings) and engineering and industrial (1,650 vacancies).
Other companies which responded included PwC and Unilever.
Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers, said: "Our latest research confirms the number of opportunities for university-leavers at the country’s most sought-after employers is now at its highest level for seven years.
"It matches the pre-recession peak in graduate recruitment recorded in 2007."
More than two thirds of firms said they asked graduate applicants to have gained at least a 2.1 at university.
And around a quarter wanted prospective employees to have gained a minimum number of Ucas university "tariff" points, which are based on their A-level results.
The typical starting salary for this year is £29,500, the study found, the first increase in graduate wages for four years.
Investment banks were found to offer the most generous starting salaries at around £45,000, followed by law firms at £39,500.
At the other end of the scale, those starting work in the public sector earned the lowest graduate pay at around £22,400.
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