More than 5,000 desperate jobhunters clamoured for just 275 roles at a new Tesco store in the Midlands.
The astonishing response meant more than 18 people applied for every job advertised at a new Tesco Express shop in West Bromwich.
Store manager Tony Sinkinson said he was amazed at the demand for the vacancies, which were advertised through Jobcentre Plus, a recruitment agency and disability employment firm Remploy.
“The response to our recruitment drive was astounding,” he said.
“I was astonished by the volume of applications we received throughout the recruitment process.
“The standard of applications was extremely high, making decisions very tough.”
The West Midlands last week recorded Britain’s biggest rise in unemployment. The rate rose by 0.8 per cent for the three months from February to April, taking the region’s dole queue to 259,000.
A total of 450 staff will work at the New Square store, opening on July 11, including Tesco employees transferred from elsewhere.
But the clamour for jobs is a sign of the desperation for work across the Midlands, with demand for food banks doubling last year, according to figures.
Mr Sinkinson said applicants included college students and even university graduates looking for what he called a “step on the employment ladder”.
Responding to the unemployment figures, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce president Steve Brittan said: “These figures again represent the skills deficit which is affecting the region.
“Businesses need a simplified route into the multitude of initiatives to help them gain access to a skilled workforce.”
Mike Ashton, spokesman for the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, said: “The perennial problem of access to finance is hindering employment.”