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Scotland – Client demand drives temporary jobs

15 October 2012

Recruitment agencies in Scotland last month reported increased client demand with both permanent and temporary jobs rising in September, the latest Bank of Scotland labour market barometer shows today.

Temporary staff billings grew strongly and reached a five-month high while the number of those finding permanent jobs was the highest since May. Edinburgh-based staffing firms posted the strongest rise in permanent placements, while recruiters in Dundee continued to register the fastest increase in temp staff billings during September.

“Scotland’s job market continued to improve in September with a welcome increase in people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs alongside a rising number of vacancies,” said chief economist at the bank, Donald MacRae.

“The Scottish economy is maintaining employment in the face of the global slowdown. A significant fall in unemployment awaits a lift in both consumer and business confidence.”

However, demand for temporary and contract staff eased in September as the latest rise in available temporary jobs was the weakest since February. Availability of temporary workers continued to deteriorate in September for the third month running. The largest fall in permanent and temporary candidate availability were seen in Glasgow and Dundee.

The hottest sector for temporary workers in September was IT & Computing, followed by engineering & construction, and secretarial & clerical. Temporary accounting and financial jobs saw the sharpest decline for three years.

The research also indicates that hourly pay rates for temporary workers rose for the third month in a row, while average permanent salaries dropped slightly in the month.

Overall, the barometer showed a “modest” improvement of labour market conditions, posting a marginal drop in index points from 52.4 in August to 52.3 in September – anything above 50 signals expansion. But at the same time, index points in the third quarter of the year suggested the weakest quarterly improvement since Q4 2010.

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