LONDON: British job vacancies grew at the slowest pace in 8 months in December, according to a survey of recruiters, but overall labour market conditions remained tight as many employers struggled to find staff.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said demand for staff had eased only slightly since record levels in the autumn of 2021, report agencies.
“2022 will be the year we discover staff shortages will outlive the pandemic as an economic issue,” REC chief executive Neil Carberry said.
“Demand for staff is growing across every sector and region of the UK, and candidate availability is still falling. These trends have been slowing for the past few months, but that is not surprising considering the record pace of change earlier,” he added.
Staff shortages and wage growth that appears faster than pre-pandemic rates are a large part of the reason why the Bank of England raised interest rates last month for the first time since the start of the pandemic, ahead of other central banks.
While the central bank expects factors such as rising energy prices that are pushing inflation to a 30-year high of around 6 per cent will soon ease, it fears residual pressures will stop inflation falling back fully to its 2 per cent target unless interest rates rise.
REC said starting salaries for permanent staff and hourly rates for temporary workers rose at close to the record pace seen earlier in 2021. Spending on temporary staff rose at the fastest rate in 4 months.