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The number of graduates working as science professionals increased 22.4% year-on-year Reuters

The UK job market is picking up for young people as early graduate unemployment saw its biggest fall in 15 years in 2014, according to the charity the Higher Education Careers Services Unit.

The research, part of a report published in collaboration with the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, found that early graduate unemployment fell from 8.5% to 7.3% year-on-year.

The research, which analysed the destinations of 256,350 full and part-time first degree graduates six months after they had left university, revealed that the employment rate for graduates jumped to 75.6% in 2014, up from 73.6% last year.

The survey also found that the prospects for graduates going into some of the more severely recession-hit sectors have improved significantly in the last year, with all science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and building management subjects experiencing higher employment and lower unemployment rates.

The number of graduates working as science professionals, for example, increased 22.4% year-on-year, according to the report.

"The last 18 months are a fascinating example of how quickly the market can change, and students must bear this in mind when deciding which subject to study," said Charlie Ball, deputy director of research at HECSU.

"The biggest turnaround has been the outcomes of graduates from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and construction-related subjects.

"It's encouraging that Stem skills are so highly sought, but there is a complex story of demand and supply, so it's vital that students seek careers advice early and take work experience to better inform their decisions and prepare for employment."

The research also revealed that a smaller proportion of graduates in non-professional jobs: for example, graduates working as retail, catering, waiting and bar staff fell from 13.7% to 13%.

A higher proportion of mature graduates (77.2%) were in professional and managerial work compared to all first degree graduates (66.3%).

HECSU also explained that the employment outcomes for graduates with first degrees in building and engineering were better year-on-year than graduates from all subjects, with architecture graduates doing particularly well (83.6% employed and 6.1% unemployed).

The figures come after the Office for National Statistics said that the UK's youth unemployment rate (16 to 24 year olds) dropped to 16.6% in the three months to July.