Local authority leaders have called on the Government to devolve more powers to councils to free them up to tackle the growing jobs crisis.
A new publication from the Local Government Association (LGA) warned there was an estimated two jobseekers chasing every vacancy in a third of the country.
It argued more targeted support, coordinated by councils and combined authorities, was needed to match employers with jobseekers.
The LGA said Whitehall ‘cannot fix' the jobs crisis alone and should devolve more powers to councils.
Chairman of the LGA’s people and places board, Kevin Bentley, said: ‘Our economy is changing rapidly and a record number of vacancies alongside large falls in people in the workforce have combined to create the tightest jobs market in our lifetimes.
‘These changes are not being felt equally across the country, with too many people battling for fewer jobs in some areas while, in others, employers are crying out for skilled workers to meet demand.
‘The Government’s one-size-fits-all national approach to employment and skills is no longer fit for purpose.
'Councils and combined authorities – who know their communities best – want to be front and centre in ensuring everyone has the chance to learn new skills and find work, in good jobs needed by local businesses, in the places where they live.’