The unemployed will find it harder to get a job in 2013 as the "scramble" for work gets fiercer, a new report has predicted.
Recruitment website Totaljobs said jobs have been created this year in most regions of the UK, but there had also been an increase in applications.
The labour market had "loosened" in 2012, encouraging those already in work to look for a new challenge, while the jobless were having to apply for more posts in their search for work, said the report.
"With changes coming to benefit payments, it is likely the scramble for work is getting fiercer," said the report.
The number of jobs increased by 5% this year, boosted by the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, alongside a drop in inflation, according to Totaljobs.
The biggest increases were in transport and logistics firms, while jobs were lost in the public sector and the hospitality sector, the study found. The number of applicants per vacancy has jumped by 12% this year to a national average of 18, rising to 25 in some areas such as London. Almost 50 people were chasing some administrative jobs and 36 in retail, it was found.
The capital was hit by a collapse in the number of catering and hospitality jobs despite the success of the Olympics, said Totaljobs, adding that Wales had been affected by public sector cuts.
John Salt, director of totaljobs.com, said: "For much of 2012, the labour market was heading in the right direction with job growth and falls in unemployment. However, whilst on the surface things looked healthier, dig a little deeper and it became clear that we have been merely storing up problems for the future.
"The reality is that a great deal of the jobs created have been part-time and low paid, and many of those that have been taken off the unemployment roll have in fact just gone into government training schemes rather than paid work.
"With the eurozone seemingly resolute in its determination not to take the steps necessary to avoid economic meltdown and significant falls in manufacturing, the heralded labour market recovery petered out by the final quarter of the year."