Job trends 'a cause for concern'
Competition for jobs eased slightly in recent months, but there are still an average of 18 applicants per vacancy, according to a new study.
The number has dropped from 20 a year ago, although concerns remain that the UK faces a slow labour market recovery, said recruitment website totaljobs.com.
The number of jobs available has fallen by 0.4% compared to a year ago, said the report, published ahead of the latest unemployment figures on Wednesday.
The number of people chasing jobs varied across the country, ranging from 26 per post in London, to 11 in East Anglia and the South West, the research found.
The capital has been particularly badly affected by falls in the number of available jobs in the media and marketing, while competition for jobs in restaurants, bars and hotels in London has remained "startlingly" high with an average of 38 applications per job.
John Salt of totaljobs.com, said: "Along with its South Eastern hinterland, which itself reported a 3% fall in jobs this quarter, London has been the engine of growth for years and has avoided the worst of the recent economic difficulties.
"So, whilst it is good to see improvements regionally, the fall in jobs in London is a cause for serious concern - and a possible indication of future jobs woes across the UK.
"It is difficult to see where, in the medium term at least, we are going to get the substantial growth needed to provide the fillip the market needs. Profitable companies are wary of investing, whilst the Government is stalling any injection of capital expenditure necessary to boost job numbers."