The survey question allows multiple responses, so it could be that some businesses are experiencing recruitment challenges because of a lack of EU applicants as well as “other reasons” (which could include border controls, retirements or difficulty in getting an HGV licence at short notice).
Some EU workers have left the labour market during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The number of EU nationals employed in the UK fell by 8.7% between January to March 2020 and April to June 2021. Meanwhile, the total number of people in employment fell by 2.4% over the same period.
Industries experiencing recruitment challenges because of reduced EU applicants have also been affected by a fall in EU workers, according to the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS).
In early August, transport and storage and hospitality businesses were the most likely to say they had fewer EU workers than in previous years (7%).