No one is under any illusion that UK unemployment is bulging again, but those who think that firms are refusing to appoint may be mistaken; new research from the human resource specialists Curve Group suggest that three quarters of the country’s employers want to hire but simply can’t find the talent they need.

75% of UK firms are unable to find the skilled permanent staff they need – news that may well encourage the country’s highly skilled PAYE umbrella contactors. Although these companies are prepared to pay the standard salaries for these sought-after staff, under the steely economic clouds rolling over the country right now, they’re unwilling to offer any additional financial inducements (all save 10% of them, that is).

A major cause of worker absenteeism amongst those polled appears to be stress-related illness, with 62% of firms citing this as the chief cause of sick leave. Curve Group co-owner Lyndsey Simpson believes this is entirely understandable, as many employees struggle to manage the inevitable anxieties generated by headcount freezes and recurring redundancy threats.

Even though the UK economy did slightly better than many had expected during the last quarter, with GDP growing by a soggy and underwhelming 0.5%, many UK companies are in parlous states, with as many as 22% drawing on overdraft facilities to the maximum, according to insolvency trade body R3.

Given the unavailability of permanent staff, umbrella companies could well provide our firms with economical and suitably skilled solutions. For businesses to survive, projects do, after all, have to be completed.

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