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

Employers’ intentions to hire new permanent and temporary staff over the next three months remained stable at the net: +22 and net: +26 respectively, signaling 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.

The REC’s latest survey also found that business confidence in the UK economy rose by one percentage point to the net: +18, sitting firmly in positive territory.

“We’re well into the recovery now, and our surveys show that demand for labor remains high,” said Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC. “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 be particular pressures in logistics, food manufacturing, and hospitality, as we gear up for Christmas, and hiring for this period, has already started.

“Hiring businesses need to reassess their plans to make sure they can source the people they need over the months and years to come,” he added. “That means the right mix of new mid-career hires, temporary staff, and trainees or apprentices. Recruitment and staffing firms understand this process better than anyone and are ideally placed to help.”

Carberry notes that the pressing issue for the government remains the fact that labor shortages will limit business and economic growth in the months to come. “It’s time to work with businesses and make the reforms needed to unemployment support and the skills system, and put more people on a path to a good job,” he said.