The average number of job hunters applying to each new vacancy is 23, according to a new study which has been published.
Totaljobs.com took the information from four million of those who are currently looking for work in order to get an accurate picture of the current jobs market.
One of the things it found is that new opportunities opening up in the private sector are failing to keep pace with the high level of redundancies in the public sector.
Jobs which do not need professional workers are the most sought after, as many people do not have the skills in areas where there are vacancies.
In areas such as retail, secretarial and customer services, the numbers of those applying have gone up by 50 per cent in the past year.
Each of these jobs averages in excess of 40 applicants for every vacancy which comes up, making the jobs market a very competitive place.
Like everything else there are regional differences and East Anglia is in a better state with an average of just ten people competing for each new job.
The situation in the South East, however, is that the average number of applicants is even higher than the national average, standing at 33 per job.
John Salt, director of Totaljobs.com, said: “Since March, the whole market has frozen, with companies reluctant to risk a rise in head-count when consumer confidence is taking a battering – and uncertainty around the future of the euro threatens to pull the whole economy back into recession.”
He also said that the future looks bleak, with the jobs market not set to return to pre-recession levels in 2012, but possibly sink further.
The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has corroborated this opinion, saying that the 2.64 million people currently unemployed is set to rise to 2.85 million by 2013.