LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - British employers hired permanent
workers via recruitment firms at the quickest pace in three
months in November although a run of sharply rising pay offers
slowed a bit, a group representing recruiters said on Friday.
The short supply of candidates underscored the importance
for the government of coming up with a plan to avoid a big loss
of workers from other European Union countries as Brexit
approaches, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said.
"The government must make a New Year's resolution to ensure
that the UK labour market remains successful in 2018," REC chief
executive Kevin Green said.
The official statistics agency said last week that net
migration into Britain fell by the largest amount since the
1980s in the 12 months after the Brexit vote, with more than
three-quarters of the drop due to more EU citizens leaving and
REC said starting salaries, which in October rose at the
second-quickest rate in nearly two years, rose sharply again
albeit a bit less strongly than in November. The survey is an
early indicator - though a patchy one - of wage pressures.
Last month, the Bank of England raised interest rates for
the first time in 10 years, in part because it expects the
plunge in unemployment in Britain in recent years will soon
start to push up wages.
Another survey published on Friday painted a weak picture
for investment by businesses.
ICAEW, a body representing accountants, said its survey
showed businesses investment would grow at its second-weakest
pace since the global financial crisis, rising by 2.1 percent,
and was likely to rise by only 1.5 percent in 2018.
"Businesses are responding to uncertainty around Brexit and
the lack of progress on a trade deal and transition arrangements
by building up their cash balances rather than investing in the
UK's future," Michael Izza, ICAEW's chief executive, said.
The survey was based on responses from 1,000 chartered
accountants between Aug. 2 and Oct. 20.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Graphic by Andy Bruce)
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