The monthly Report on Jobs, compiled by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and accountants Deloitte & Touche shows that recruitment advertising in national newspapers fell 20% in October.
It said that the level of recruitment advertising in the national press in October fell to the lowest seen since data collection began 17 years ago.
However, it also said that a recovery could be in sight, signalled by an "easing in the annual rate of decline in press ads to the weakest for 16 months".
The hardest-hit sectors have been finance, accounting and information technology, where demand for staff has continued to fall.
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