Recruitment companies say worker shortage is hitting business and wage growth

November 2017 proved that finding suitable candidates was becoming increasingly difficult

Workers won permanent jobs at the quickest pace for three months in November 2017, according to the Report on Jobs, compiled by IHS Markit on behalf of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

This comes as the Confederation of British Industry predicted that unemployment will fall to a 44-year low in 2018, dropping from a current level of 4.3 per cent to 3.9 per cent next year.

REC chief executive warned this will affect wage growth too:

“Having less access to candidates can have severe effects, restricting businesses’ ability to grow which means they won’t be able to create jobs or increase pay for staff,” said Kevin Green, REC chief executive.

But high demand for staff was also leading to some increases in pay, according to the report. Steep increases in starting salaries for permanent jobs were recorded in all regions in the UK in November, with the North of England seeing the biggest hike.

The number of staff being placed in permanent roles also increased last month with 38.1pc of firms saying that it had increased month on month, but this came with shortages of skilled workers. Recruiters reported a “further steep drop” in candidate availability during November.

“Private sector staff vacancies rose sharply for both permanent and temporary roles [last month],” the report stated.

In order to safeguard the labour market going forward the Government needed to give EU workers already living and working in the UK certainty on their future status, Mr Green said.

“In addition, the Government needs to think longer term about how to fill vacancies left by EU workers. Turning the Apprenticeship Levy into a broader training levy will help,” he added.

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