The number of vacancies has reached a near two-year high, creating an “employment paradise” for jobhunters, a report shows.

There are almost 180,000 vacancies in the UK, up by 2% on a year ago and the most since the autumn of 2015, said jobs site Adzuna.

The average number of jobseekers per vacancy is now below 0.5, while average advertised pay has hit a six-month high of £32,600.

A third of all vacancies are affected by the National Minimum Wage, rising to over two out of five in the north east, the research found.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “With salaries up, vacancies at their highest levels in seven months, and fewer people competing for jobs, it’s an employment paradise for jobseekers.

“This means less of a strain on disposable incomes as jobseekers and employees have more room to manoeuvre in terms of their purchasing power.

“However, with the General Election fast approaching, improvements in the labour market shouldn’t be taken as given just yet.

“Despite promising month-on-month wage growth, we still have a way to go to make up lost ground on advertised earnings.

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