Survey data from Experian Economics found 19% of respondents hit by staff shortages

Nearly one in five companies in the building sector are experiencing difficulties recruiting labour, highlighting the issues the industry could face once the UK has officially left the EU.

According to the latest survey data from Experian Economics, 19% of respondents said they were set back by staff shortages, bringing into sharp focus the issues likely to face the sector if a post-Brexit environment includes a much stricter immigration policy.

Industry leaders have already warned that the UK’s departure from the EU could exacerbate the problem of hiring workers.

The Experian Tracker data for April also revealed that labour costs were rising, with 41% of survey respondents in the residential and non-residential sectors reporting rises of 7.6% or above, higher than for any month since 2008, with the exception of July 2011.

Respondents to the survey in the civil engineering sector reported labour cost increases of between 2.6% and 5%.

The overall activity index remained basically flat, having dropped by a single point to 55, although this masked the R&M index return to negative territory (48) after one month of mild growth.

The residential sector activity index dipped three points to 53, the non-residential sector lost two points to 55, and civils rose 20 points to 73 – although this is a more volatile measurement due to a small sample size.

See Economics Tracker, p46-47