British employers increasingly struggle to fill vacancies: Survey

LONDON (Reuters) - British employers are offering higher pay as the pool of good job candidates dries up at its fastest rate in nearly a decade, according to a survey which may worry the Bank of England.

The availability of staff to fill permanent positions in April fell at its sharpest pace since October 2004, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said on Friday.

The decline in the availability of temporary workers was the steepest since December 2000.

"The jobs market could be jeopardised with thousands of employers not able to find the skills and talent they need to meet increasing demand," REC chief executive Kevin Green said.

For a second month in a row, growth in salaries for permanent workers has been its most marked since 2007.

The Bank of England has said it believes Britain's recovery still has a way to go before the economy uses up its spare capacity and inflation pressures begin to build.

It believes there are still enough people out of work or not working enough hours to prevent an overheating of the labour market. The unemployment rate in the three months to February stood at 6.9 per cent, down sharply from a year ago but still well above its pre-crisis level of around 5 per cent.

In a potentially welcome sign for policymakers hoping that the economic recovery will broaden, the Midlands and northern regions of England posted the strongest increases in placements while the generally more prosperous south saw the slowest growth.