Britain’s hiring surge hits record speed

08 Jul 2021

The UK’s hiring boom after the Covid lockdown continued last month as the highest number of permanent staff were hired since the late 90s.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation's (REC) survey also showed vacancies reached their highest point since the launch of the poll close to 24 years ago.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry stated: "Recruiters are working flat out to fill roles across our economy. The jobs market is improving at the fastest pace we have ever seen, but it is still an unpredictable time."

The UK’s labour market was bolstered through the coronavirus lockdowns due to the government’s furlough scheme, and hiring is rallying as the economy reopens, Reuters reports.

In addition, the REC survey showed starting salaries rose by the most in seven years, and a rise in hourly pay rates for temporary staff was the most robust since 2004.

Carberry added that the phasing out of the government’s emergency measures between July and September could lead to more people seeking work.

Another survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) showed the problems faced by employers seeking to recruit staff as the economy reopens.

The BCC stated 52% of businesses attempted to hire staff in Q2 this year, the highest number since before the coronavirus outbreak.

Around 70% of firms reported difficulties in finding the right candidates, a 7% rise from Q1.

The construction sector struggled the most to recruit staff, with 82% of firms finding it tough, followed by hotels and catering with 76%.

The BCC added that almost 40% of companies forecast they would increase their workforce in the coming quarter, surpassing the pre-pandemic average in 2018/19 of 29%.