Hundreds of thousands of people have been using the internet to find jobs in the civil service against a backdrop of rising unemployment and cuts to the public sector, analysts have said.

According to Hydra, a provider of software-as-a-service (Saas), searches for the term ‘civil service jobs’ saw an 80 per cent surge from December 2011 to February 2012, dominating job –specific online searches.

This was said to represent an “unprecedented surge” in searches for the term, which was used 246,000 times in January alone.

The finding came as thousands of public sector workers are losing their jobs and at a time when unemployment as a whole has been on the rise.