The proportion of businesses who said it has become harder to find staff rocketed by nearly half between early and late August.
At the end of the month 13 per cent of businesses that were trading reported that vacancies had been more difficult to fill in the last month compared to how it normally is this time of year.
It was a rise from nine per cent earlier in August, according to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
For weeks companies have been reporting difficulties in getting staff to fill the jobs they need doing.
It comes as around two million people are estimated to have fallen out of the workforce during the pandemic.
On Wednesday Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said that many of these people were young, had simply continued in education and would enter the workforce eventually.
However the other big group of missing workers are older, and may have decided to hang up their boots.
The ONS added that 28 per cent of companies had told it their turnover had decreased compared to normal times, down from 30 per cent two weeks earlier.
A little over half reported no effect on turnover compared to normal, while seven per cent reported it was higher than usual.
with PA Wires