Online recruitment activity fell sharply in May across the UK, according to new figures from global recruitment consultancy Monster.
The Monster Employment Index UK showed reduced online hiring activity for the third consecutive month.
All UK regions registered fewer online job opportunities last month, with East Anglia registering the sharpest rate of decline.
Several sectors, including hospitality and tourism, education, training and healthcare, reported fewer opportunities, with demand for workers in hospitality and tourism falling to its lowest level in eight months despite the approach of the traditionally busy summer season.
However, the index remained above its May 2005 level, supported by a considerable increase in demand for plant and machine operators and assemblers in May.
Alan Townsend, chief operating officer, Monster UK & Ireland, said the continued downward trend in online recruitment was in line with data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which shows unemployment at its highest level since 2002.
"Recent evidence suggests that employers are instead trying to raise the productivity of their existing workforce," he said.