]Shortages of workers stopping UK businesses from functioning normally show no signs of letting up over the busy Christmas period, according to fresh figures published today.
In the last week alone, over 200,000 new job adverts were posted as retailers, pubs and restaurants push to ramp up staff levels in preparation for the festive shopping rush, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
British companies have been struggling to maintain normal services amid a labour squeeze that has dragged on for months.
A large proportion of the workforce has dropped out of the jobs market altogether, driven by the pandemic engineering a shift in career and life goals.
Younger workers have opted to stay in education until the economy restores to pre-crisis health, while some older workers have chosen to take early retirement, leaving businesses competing to find candidates amid a shallower labour pool.
In each of the previous three weeks, job postings have climbed at record rates.
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: “The growth in job adverts shows no signs of slowing as we reach the Christmas peak.”
Retailers and hospitality firms heavily rely on the Christmas period to generate a large proportion of their annual income, meaning the sectors would be hit hard if worker shortages prevent them from capitalising on Brits ramping up spending.
Some of the most severe worker shortages are concentrated in the retail and hospitality sectors, the REC’s research found. Job postings sales and retail assistants climbed 1.6 per cent over the last week to nearly 65,000.
A scarcity of HGV drivers, which has gummed up supply chains, leading to low stocked shelves, is persisting, revealed the REC’s figures.
Job adverts for large goods vehicle drivers climbed 2.1 per cent over the last two weeks, the largest increase out of all occupations.