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Hiring is tough and it is not getting any easier for firms

Hospitality mentioned by the ONS as the industry facing the biggest challenges

Labour shortages have been difficult for businesses seeking to regain momentum on the back of lockdowns and the trend could be set to continue.

According to the latest ONS vacancy survey, 41% of businesses struggled to recruit in late August.

A lack of EU workers was cited as an issue by 46% of Transport and Storage companies.

Hospitality was specifically mentioned as the industry facing the biggest challenges.

“It’s no surprise to see hospitality topping the list of those struggling to recruit. Restrictions meant they were late to the party and many people who used to work in bars and restaurants found other jobs to pay the bills, jobs that often have more sociable hours,” says Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst.

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“There’s also a niggling uncertainty amongst the public that we’ve really seen an end to restrictions and most people believe that any spike in COVID cases would result in hospitality being forced to close once again.”

People shopping for groceries recently will have noticed more expensive food prices and the HGV driver shortage has been a key factor.

“Almost half of businesses in the transport and storage sector said that a lack of EU workers was to blame for the shortages and across the board one in four businesses said a fall in the number of EU applicants was an issue,” says Hewson.

It is difficult to assess the impact of Brexit on the issue due to the arrival of the pandemic.

“It’s also impossible to guess how the end of the furlough scheme will change the picture. Some jobs will be lost, and some workers will be brought back into the labour market where they will be received with open arms if the latest recruitment drive by John Lewis is anything to go by,” said Hewson.

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