The majority of businesses in both manufacturing and services are reporting difficulties in recruiting staff, according to new data.

The latest quarterly economic survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found that the UK economy ended 2018 “stuck in a weak holding pattern”, with stagnating levels of growth, labour shortages and falling business confidence.

The survey of 6,000 firms – employing over one million people across the UK – has underlined the impact of current levels of uncertainty as growth in domestic sales and orders reduced.

The findings have also highlighted the extent to which labour shortages have risen in the UK as four-fifths (81%) of manufacturers that tried to recruit reported difficulties in finding the right staff – the joint highest level since the survey began in 1989. In the services sector, the level (70%) hovers close to the record high recorded in the previous quarter (72%).


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