UK employers increased the number of new staff in May at the slowest pace since early 2021 after a steep fall in the number of workers responding to job adverts.
After an increase in job switching by workers last year, often to secure higher pay, employers said the shortage of candidates since January meant they were unable to fill thousands of vacancies.
The survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG shows how tight the UK labour market has become during the coronavirus pandemic. About 500,000 people have quit the labour force, many through ill health, since 2019.
While workforces in France and several other European countries have expanded compared with pre-pandemic levels, the UK’s shrinking workforce has left employers scrabbling to find skilled and unskilled workers to fill job vacancies.