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UK companies scramble for new hires amid low jobless rate

The number of people recruited for permanent jobs in the U.K. grew at its slowest pace in nine months in July even as the number of vacancies expanded at the quickest rate since November 2017, a survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation showed Aug. 8.

The survey showed information technology and computing roles saw the highest demand for permanent staff in July as most sectors saw sharp increases in vacancies.

The REC's survey showed companies were looking to hire staff but noted a shortage of EU migrants available for work since the Brexit vote in June 2016. Official data showed the number of EU immigrants to the U.K. fell to a five-year low in 2017, said Reuters.

U.K. unemployment fell to 4.2% in the three months to May, its lowest level since 1975.

The REC survey also showed low candidate availability and strong staff demand prompted a steep hike in salaries for new permanent hires.

"With our data showing starting salaries continuing to rise, the latest official government figures suggest that we are finally seeing the effects of a tighter labor market feed through to pay," said Sophie Wingfield, REC head of policy.