Labour shortages slow UK hiring, push up pay – REC

FILE PHOTO: Workers walk to work during the morning rush hour in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London
FILE PHOTO: Workers walk to work during the morning rush hour in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London, Britain, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo

November 5, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – British employers increased their hiring of workers via recruitment agencies at the slowest pace in six months in October due to a lack of suitable staff, recruiters said on Friday.

A shortage of permanent and temporary candidates pushed up starting pay by the most since at least 1997, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said in a survey that will inform the Bank of England as it reviews the state of the job market.

“We are starting to see signs that we are moving into a new phase of the recovery, as the initial bounce-back in demand starts to ease,” Kate Shoesmith, REC’s deputy chief executive officer, said.

Vacancies remained strong but fell from September.

The record rise in starting pay was not seen across all sectors and Britain’s government should follow up on its promise to help workers earn more through better skills training, Shoesmith said.

The BoE held off from raising interest rates on Thursday, dashing investor expectations, as it opted to wait for clearer signs of how Britain’s labour market was coping after the end of the government’s pandemic emergency jobs support last month.

(Writing by William Schomberg)