A report compiled by Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) revealed on Tuesday (9 May) that the availability of permanent and temporary candidates dropped to its lowest level in 16 months in April. Meanwhile, demand for workers remained strong during the month after a slight drop in March.
Despite the strong labour demand, the report also noted that growth in permanent staff placements cooled to its slowest in seven months during April. London reported the slowest increase in expansion of permanent placements while the Midlands region and Scotland witnessed the fastest rate of increase in expansion.
The report further added that increase in labour demand was mainly confined to the private sector.
"Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK, but there are fewer and fewer people available to fill the vacancies", said REC Chief Executive Kevin Green.
"We have the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, and people already in work are becoming more hesitant about moving jobs amid Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK."
Green also urged the government, which would be formed after the June 8 election, to remedy the "ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates". He recommended aiding the UK job seekers with skills training and career advice while allowing proper access to the needed non-UK workers. Green also remarked that the future immigration system needs to be "agile enough to reflect and adopt to evolving labour market needs".