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UK businesses’ struggle to recruit sufficient workers has been fuelled by a decline in interest from EU-based jobseekers of more than one third.
Figures from global jobs website Indeed show that searches from continental Europe were down by 36% in May from average levels in 2019.
Lower paid work in the hospitality, care and warehouse sectors recorded the biggest declines at 41%.
Although travel restrictions caused by the Covid crisis were a factor, job search figures from EU jobseekers looking for work in other countries did not decline to the same extent.
This leads the Indeed report to suggest that post-Brexit immigration rules are having a strong impact on jobseekers' choices.
The analysis found that that searches from non-EU countries and Ireland, however, had fallen by only 1%.
Indeed found that jobseeker interest from non-EU countries, led by nations such as India and Hong Kong, was rising but not fast enough to offset falling EU interest.
Jack Kennedy, a UK economist at Indeed, said that although employers in sectors such as tech, science and engineering were continuing to attract staff from the rest of the world, lower paid roles in the UK were no longer receiving clicks.
He said these roles were not receiving the same attention from foreign workers as they did only two years ago. “It means domestic workers may be required to fill the gaps,” he said.
“However, with many sectors, including hospitality, already struggling to recruit all the staff they need, higher salaries may be required to attract UK workers to fill those roles.”
In recent weeks a variety of business leaders have raised the alarm over a lack of staff, with JD Wet