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Jobseeker confidence at rock bottom as unemployment increases by 11,000

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More than a quarter of jobseekers expect to still be looking for work in 12 months time, and nearly four in 10 have little confidence in their ability to find work by the end of this year, a figure that has risen 10% over the past 12 months.

The news comes weeks after the latest ONS employment statistics reveal that long-term unemployment has increased by 11,000 in the three months to February to reach 847,000.

The Totaljobs.com survey of more than 11,000 jobseekers revealed two thirds (65%) have applied for 11 jobs or more since they began the search and a third have not yet been invited to a single interview. The research indicates that jobseekers are not adequately prepared for interviews and are not taking the right care and attention with each application.

More than half of jobseekers (54%) spend less than two hours on an application, including the time it takes to amend their CV and draft a covering letter.

Mike Fetters, director of Totaljobs.com, said: "While it is tempting to panic and fire off hundreds of applications when you are struggling to find work, these rarely meet with success. Far better to focus your applications to those jobs that match your expertise and experience, and spend enough time carrying out the research needed to create a strong application. It is also important to be flexible as it really is a recruiters market out there. This may mean compromising on pay and working conditions, or require relocation."

These findings come despite the recent Totaljobs.com barometer showing that on average there are 22 applicants fighting for every job in London, making the capital one of the most competitive jobs markets in the UK.

Fetters added: "The job market remains incredibly competitive, with a backlog of jobseekers chasing relatively few jobs. As the length of time that jobseekers are looking for work has increased, their confidence in finding a job has fallen. We think that this trend is likely to continue as the labour market's stagnation persists with more job losses in the public sector and few created by private companies."

Jobseekers are also far from confident that their retirement will be plain sailing. More than half (56%) of all jobseekers have contributed to a private pension scheme but only a quarter (27%) believes that they will have a sufficient pension pot to allow them to retire comfortably.

Despite attempts to make the retirement age more fluid, still only a third would currently consider working after 65.