Competition for jobs has eased as more roles have been created but over 70 people are still chasing every vacancy in parts of Britain

Research by Adzuna found that while there has been a drop in the number of people fighting it out for jobs, over 70 people are competing for every role in areas of the UK.

The jobs search engine discovered 72 Britons are chasing each job in Salford, in sharp contrast to the situation in Cambridge, Guildford, Winchester and Aberdeen, where there is an average of less than one applicant per role.

The north was the toughest part of Britain to find a job in July, occupying nine of the top 10 places. Jobseekers in Salford, Sunderland and Hull are having the most trouble, although there was an improvement in Manchester and Newcastle in the first half of 2013.

Adzuna's report also shows average advertised salaries have gone down markedly in the last 12 months, by 3.5% to 33,462.

There was more than half a million jobs up for grabs last month, a rise of 1% on the July 2012 figure. The average number of people seeking each role fell below three.

Flora Lowther, head of research at Adzuna, said the only black cloud hovering over a brightening jobs market is the continued salary squeeze, with all other pointers highlighting improved conditions for jobseekers.

"Competition for vacancies is easing, there are more jobs available, and the north-south divide is showing signs of narrowing," she said.

"But salaries have fallen sharply in real terms. They haven't kept pace with the relentless march of inflation, which is a major reason why the economic recovery hasn't been more dynamic."

Ms Lowther insisted conditions are beginning to improve for jobseekers in the north despite the fierce competition for jobs in some places. Advertised salaries are increasing at a faster rate in northern towns and cities, while a record number of roles are being created outside of London and the South East.

"The construction and manufacturing sectors are certainly propping up the job market in this part of the country, with some early indications that Government efforts to revitalise the economy outside of London are starting to take effect," added Ms Lowther.

Copyright Press Association 2013