More than 850 people in the district are out of work, with as many as 45 people battling for one job in some cases.

Unemployment has continued to rise in recent months, peaking at 865, according to the latest figures.

Job site shows just 15 vacancies are available within three miles of Maldon, including roles for a furniture designer and a systems engineer.

WA Products (UK) Ltd in Burnham has been advertising for a cleanroom technician/warehouse assistant and has had 45 people apply in a week.