The service industry in the UK is experiencing a labour shortage because of a major disruption in the flow of EU migrants, the BBC reported on Monday.
The UK workforces expanded by a net 7,000 EU nationals between 2017 and 2018, compared to 148,00 between 2016 and 2017.
According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, up to 40% of employers have experienced a “supply shock” and difficulties in recruitment, especially in the health and hospitality sectors. The shock is also felt in IT, transport, and construction.
The survey was based on interviews with 2000 employees and has affected lo, medium and high skill jobs sectors. For every skilled vacancy, there were six applicants rather than eight; for every unskilled job there were 20 applicants instead of 24.
So far, the weaker supply of labour has not translated into a substantial increase in wages, whilst inflation is eroding purchasing power in rents, food, and energy. With unemployment at merely 4,2%, wage growth stood at 2,7% in May.