It found that 38 per cent of recruitment consultants reported seeing lower availability of candidates versus just 12 per cent who reported an increase.
The shortage was particularly noted in accountancy, construction, engineering, manufacturing and IT, amongst many other sectors.
REC CEO Kevin Green said: Recruiters continue to place more people in work as the jobs market accelerates. However the jobs market could be jeopardised with thousands of employers not able to find the skills and talent they need to meet increasing demand.”
Recruiters said that the shortage was driving an increase in salaries for both permanent and temporary workers as competition for the best candidates hots up.
Green said: The number of candidates available to fill both temporary and permanent jobs is falling at its fastest rate in a decade. In response to this employers are bumping up starting salaries to entice workers they need to join them.
This dearth of skilled workers means that many organisations will need to improve their candidate experience and also look overseas to find people. The government must do more to support businesses by ensuring that the visa process does not act as a barrier to growth.