Business

Shortage of candidates for jobs is getting worse, study shows

A lack of suitable candidates is starting to "bite" businesses, and the problem is getting worse, according to a new report.

A LACK of suitable candidates is starting to "bite" businesses, and the problem is getting worse, according to a new report.

Research among 400 recruitment agencies suggested a "marked decline" in the availability of candidates at the end of 2018, especially for permanent jobs.

At the same time, vacancies for full and part-time workers are increasing, said the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

Starting pay rates increased in December as demand for workers outstripped supply, said the report.

James Stewart, vice chair at KPMG, said: "A lack of work-ready candidates is really beginning to bite UK businesses and the situation is worsening.

"Many of the UK's main sectors are now struggling to hire staff. It really is a candidates' market at the moment.

"A lot of people don't want to move jobs right now because there is so much uncertainty around. In addition, the supply of EU citizens entering the UK for work is slowing whilst every sector continues to take on more staff.

"This means a near-record number of vacancies are going unfilled and talent gaps in industries like engineering, finance, and IT are opening up."

Neil Carberry, chief executive of REC, said: "Businesses will be looking for certainty on Brexit plans soon, so that they can get on with driving growth and jobs.

"Recruiters will be helping employers to do that. High employment rates mean that there are significant shortages in some parts of our labour market."

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