Online recruitment hit a 19-month low in November as demand for new staff plummeted in several industry sectors across the UK.
The Monster Employment Index UK - a monthly analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from corporate career sites and job boards - decreased by nine points in November, to reach a level of 152.
This was the largest monthly fall since January as the index dropped to its lowest level since 2007, reversing moderate growth seen in October.
Online job availability fell most in the arts, entertainment, sports, leisure and legal sectors. There were also sharp dips for administrative, organisation and HR workers.
"The continued decline in recruitment activity in November is another sign that the economic downturn has severely reduced employment prospects across Britain," said Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster Worldwide.
"Although companies are increasingly advertising their vacancies on the internet, online job opportunities are now down by 10% from the same time last year. Yet despite the economic climate, there are pockets of sustained growth, most notably in education, healthcare and government."