Last reviewed 25 August 2021

In the three months to July, employers’ confidence in their ability to hire new staff and make investment decisions remained high at +29, just below the previous rolling quarter’s record high, according to data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

This latest survey also found that business confidence in the UK economy rose by 1% to +18, “sitting firmly in positive territory”, according to the REC.

Employers’ intentions to hire new permanent and temporary staff over the next three months remained stable at +22 and +26 respectively, it highlighted, signalling that demand for workers will remain high into the autumn as businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic and deliver on new business plans.

REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry said: “We’re well into the recovery now, and our surveys show that demand for labour remains high. Even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September, it’s likely that high demand for workers will continue to cause shortages through the autumn”.

There will, he went on, be particular pressures in logistics, food manufacturing and hospitality as firms gear up for Christmas and hiring for this period has already started.

For the Government, Mr Carberry suggested, the pressing issue is that labour shortages will limit business and economic growth in the months to come.

It should therefore be working with businesses and making the reforms needed to unemployment support and the skills system thereby putting more people on a path to a good job.