Employers struggle to fill vacancies as candidate availability drops

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Brexit is being blamed for a ‘marked decline in staff availability’ for British businesses a new report has found.

The report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found that the availability of both permanent and temporary workers continued to fall sharply during July, in particular the availability of temporary candidates declined at the quickest pace for just over a year-and-a-half.

As a result, starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose further in July, with the rate of inflation reaching a 20-month record. At the same time, hourly pay rates for short-term staff continued to increase sharply.

The July survey data indicated that permanent placements reached a 27-month high, while growth in temp billings reached a two-and-a-half year high. 

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive said: “It’s clear that employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks.

“UK employment remains at an all-time high and looks set to keep improving. The parts of the economy most reliant on European workers are under even more pressure as many EU workers return home. Employers are not just struggling to hire the brightest and the best but also people to fill roles such as chefs, drivers and warehouse workers.

“London in particular is feeling the Brexit effect. Hiring is still growing but at a much slower rate compared with every other region of the UK. Financial services, a crucial part of the London labour market, are not hiring in their usual quantity as the uncertainty caused by Brexit makes them hesitant.

“We can’t ignore the importance of our relationship with the EU to employers. If we want to keep our jobs market successful and vibrant, we must make it.”

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