The number of unemployed people chasing every job vacancy has risen to 18, with half of those not confident of finding work in the next two months, according to a report.
Two-thirds of jobseekers have applied for more than 11 posts, while a quarter have not been invited to a single interview, said recruitment website totaljobs.com.
The study also found that up to half a million unemployed adults have not claimed jobseeker’s allowance, worth an estimated £30 million every week.
John Salt, director at totaljobs.com, said: “For older workers finding themselves temporarily between jobs, it is important their pride doesn’t hold them back from asking for help.
“Those who have previously paid national insurance should consider applying for contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance which provides a six-month cushion whilst they seek their next position.”