Over 40% of large UK companies struggling to hire


London-British companies have reported a surge in hiring difficulties in just a few weeks as a result of a continuing shortage of workers in the European Union, official figures said Thursday.

Approximately 41% of companies with more than 10 staff reported larger than usual hiring challenges in the two weeks leading up to September 5. This is up from 32% of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in early August. Said..

Approximately one-quarter of hard-to-recruit companies cite a decline in EU applicants as a factor, nearly half in the transport and storage sector, where a shortage of truck drivers has led to widespread delivery bottlenecks. It has risen to.

Labor shortages were the most widespread in hospitality, followed by water, medical and construction.

The UK introduced a new immigration rule on January 1st. This requires most EU workers who do not yet live in the UK to obtain a work visa, which can be time consuming and costly.

According to ONS, the number of EU citizens employed in the UK during the three months to the end of June was 8.7% lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the total workforce was down 2.4%.

Earlier this week, ONS data showed that the UK had an average of over 1 million jobs in the three months to the end of August, a record high.

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at broker Hargreaves Landsdown, said hiring difficulties were also a theme in last quarter’s earnings report.

“In some cases, this means that companies are struggling to run effectively, which in turn is putting a brake on GDP,” she said.

Employers have asked the government to temporarily relax visa rules to give more time to train British staff, but the government has so far refused and some of the solutions are for businesses to improve wages and conditions. Said to do.

The Bank of England expects post-pandemic bottlenecks, including rising oil prices and labor shortages, to boost inflation by up to 4% by the end of the year, but this is declining and potential slack in the employment market is seen. I think it will be possible.

The UK COVID Furlough Program will end on September 30th. According to the company, in the two weeks leading up to September 5, 6% of employees were paid for some or all of the time equivalent to about 1.6 million employees.

David Milliken