The jobs market will "stall" in the New Year, raising the prospect of increasing numbers of people looking abroad for work, according to a new report.
Online firm Totaljobs.com said recruitment activity was forecast to be scaled back, following a period of growth in 2010.
Competition for jobs has also increased this year, with 19 people applying for every vacancy in November, a record high.
The director of Totaljobs.com, John Salt, said: "2010 has been a story of a long hard climb to reach the peaks of job supply we last saw back in summer 2009.
"Unfortunately the New Year looks certain to see us sliding backs, with influences such as the VAT increase and instability in the European markets set to hit both employers and consumers."