There are now twice as many jobs available in the UK as there are jobseekers to fill them, according to the latest jobs market report from Adzuna.co.uk.
Adzuna said there were 1,229,131 jobs posted on its platform in October, compared to just 664,130 people applying for positions. It means that there are now two vacancies for every jobseeker in the UK.
This has led the ratio of jobseekers to vacancies to a new post-recession low of 0.54, down 43.2% from October 2014 when this figure stood at 0.95 – or one vacancy per jobseeker – as climbing vacancies offer more options to jobseekers.
In the last month in particular, a festive jobs boom has helped reduce job competition further. Advertised vacancies are rising in the run-up to Christmas, with the number of positions increasing 4.3% month-on-month from 1,178,129 in September. On a yearly basis, vacancies increased 31.2%, fuelled by a worsening long-term skills shortage which means more vacancies are remaining unfilled.
At the same time, the latest ONS statistics show unemployment has fallen to 5.3% – the lowest figure since early 2008. Employment levels have been boosted as more people enter into temporary work, part-time employment and, significantly, self-employment.
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said: "Twice as many jobs should mean twice as many choices for jobseekers - but this is only true for those with the right skills. Rising vacancies are signalling a spiralling skills gap, which appears to be worsening as many positions are left empty. As the festive season approaches, employers and companies are yet again reliant on the delicate yet crucial role internally migrating workers and workers from overseas have to play.
"Many of the jobs currently being born are temporary positions, leaving workers without long-term job security and reliant on the seasonal economy. However, these new jobs do bring a rare flexibility to workers, offering part-time and temporary options which can be a lifeline to those in need of income. But in this day and age, jobseekers shouldn't have to choose between security and flexibility - these benefits should be available to everyone."