A survey of recruiters has highlighted the growing supply gap in the UK labour market as workers hesitate to switch jobs against an uncertain Brexit background.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which campaigns for an open labour market, released a comprehensive survey of the UK labour market using original data from recruitment consultancies.
It shows that demand for staff is close to a an 18-month peak, led by the IT and computing industry. Conversely, the supply of people looking for permanent jobs fell sharply in March, causing a sharp increase in job vacancies and starting vacancies.
The availability of temporary staff has fallen at its quickest rate since January 2016.
“Economic uncertainty about future prospects is having a detrimental effect on employees’ willingness to risk a career move at this time, which seems to be driving down candidate availability", said REC Chief Executive Kevin Green.
"Our data shows London and the south, where financial services jobs are concentrated, as particularly suffering from low candidate availability for permanent job vacancies."
The weakest expansion in temporary job opportunities happened in the capital, where employment optimism is down to three per cent compared to five per cent nationally, according to a recent ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.
“Shortages of appropriately skilled, willing and able candidates was a problem before the referendum. Our concern is that Brexit will make the problem worse, particularly if onerous restrictions are imposed on people coming from the EU to work," said Green.