Job-hunters are always aware that in a time of economic uncertainty, employment is seen as being very much a buyer’s market. But according to new research from recruiter Adzuna, jobseekers may have slightly more negotiating power as competition for vacancies declines.

The figures show that competition, defined by the average number of people to every vacancy, dropped by 35 per cent in February compared to last year. While there were 2.39 job-hunters for every available position in February 2013, one year on the figure had dropped to 1.55.

This was also a slight drop from January’s figure of 1.62, with January often a popular month for job-hunting as people return to work after the Christmas and New Year period. For many, seeking new roles is part of their New Year’s resolutions, though a number also choose to put off their search for a new job until after the festive period.

It comes as the number of vacancies around the UK increases. Adzuna says that available roles in the UK topped 800,000 for the first time in two years in February, with an 18.5 per cent rise from the same month last year that took the total to 800,614. As the biggest year-on-year rise for eight months, Adzuna says that the performance is particularly encouraging.

“More jobs are popping up all over the UK as employers gear up for a busy spring, and as a result, competition between candidates is easing,” Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter told Recruitment International.

He added that the company’s real-time data shows the number of vacancies is still rising and could even have surpassed the 850,000 mark by the end of March.

“If this trend continues, it will push the balance of the labour market further into the hands of jobseekers, allowing them to be more selective in their job hunt, and giving them more power to negotiate on salaries,” Mr Hunter explained.

But significantly, he also said that companies will now have no choice but to start increasing wages to attract and retain the right talent, meaning that workers will begin to feel better off.