In its latest JobsOutlook report, the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) blames uncertainty around the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU for employers’ confidence in the prospects for the economy turning negative.
The balance of those seeing a positive outlook as opposed to a negative one was a net -1, a fall of seven points since July.
However, despite this fall, employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions in their own businesses remained in positive territory with a net balance of +15, only falling by one point since last month.
REC chief executive Neil Carberry has highlighted a shortage of available candidates in many areas of the economy which means employers are having to work harder to bring in key staff.
Half of UK employers expressed concern this quarter over the sufficient availability of candidates for permanent jobs with anticipation of shortages being most heightened in relation to construction skills.
Even more (66%) employers have expressed concerns over the sufficient availability of agency workers this quarter, up from 34% a year earlier (May-July 2017).
Mr Carberry suggested that many sectors, such as drivers and food supply, were anxious that they may be hit hard by future changes to the UK’s mobility deal with the EU.
Only clarity on the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU and a comprehensive mobility and migration deal with the Union will, he concluded, give employers the capacity to invest and create jobs.