UK job vacancies at 16-year high but firms are struggling to fill them

The number of appointments has slowed, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 17 Sep 2014

Vacancies at British firms rose at the strongest pace in more than 16 years last month but the number of appointments slowed, suggesting firms are struggling to hire the right people or are less confident about the UK economy's prospects, a survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation suggests.

In its latest monthly update on the state of the UK jobs market, the trade body said that the availability of staff to fill job vacancies fell further in August. 'Permanent candidates were in particularly short supply, with the latest decline in availability again steep albeit easing from July’s series-record.'

It added that growth in salaries for people starting new permanent jobs eased a touch for a second month running, although still remain close to a record high.

And the new job opporuntities weren't just confined to the capital. All four English regions monitored by the survey saw a rise in placements in August, with the South posting the fastest expansion. The Midlands saw the biggest number of temp vacancies.

Unemployment in Britain has fallen sharply since mid-2013. The unemployment rate now stands at 6.4%, down from 7.9% in April 2013.

Touching on the immigration debate, Kevin Green, the CEO of REC, said: 'While immigration has increased according to government figures, this clearly has had little impact on the jobs market. As skills shortages increase and employers struggle to find the people they need, politicians from all parties should focus on ensuring that we have a visa and immigration regime that supports UK businesses.'


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