According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG, job vacancies in the UK slipped to their lowest levels in eight months in December
Meanwhile, a report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) revealed 79% of businesses are experiencing difficulties recruiting people, particularly construction and hospitality firms.
The findings further contribute to the evidence that the arrival of the omicron variant of coronavirus has setback the UK’s economic recovery.
According to the REC’s survey of 400 recruitment agencies, shortages of qualified employees were most severe in the health and care sector, compounded by staff having to take sick leave after contracting or being exposed to the virus. Employers said factors such as uncertainty around the pandemic, fewer foreign workers, and a low unemployment rate contributed to candidate availability. However, they also said that this was gradually improving.
The REC’s survey found:
- While both permanent and temporary hires continued to sharply increase, there was greater growth in permanent hires in December
- The North of England saw the fastest rise in permanent appointments
- As in November, workers in IT and computing were the most in-demand permanent employees
- The fastest growth in temporary billings was recorded in London
“2022 will be the year we discover staff shortages will outlive the pandemic as an economic issue,” said REC chief executive Neil Carberry.
“This survey shows again how tight the labour market was at the end of last year. Demand for staff is growing across every sector and region of the UK, and candidate availability is still falling.”