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Scotland – Demand for staff rises at fastest rate for over six years

16 December 2013

There were sharp increases in both temporary and permanent staff appointments in November 2013, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs. The rates of growth accelerated with the expansion of permanent placements, in particular, reaching a survey-high.

Scottish recruiters largely linked the growth rate to greater demand, with vacancies rising at the fastest rates for over six years. Meanwhile, permanent salaries continued to rise strongly, albeit at the slowest pace since August.

The Labour Market Barometer, a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions, rose to its second-highest level, of 63.2, since data collection began in January 2003. The Barometer was consistent with a sharp improvement in Scottish labour market conditions and one that was stronger than the UK average.

Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: “November’s Barometer reached its second highest level since the survey began in January 2003. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose in the month while the number of vacancies available rose sharply. Permanent vacancies rose at the fastest pace for over six years since before the recession. Employers are demonstrating their growing confidence in the continuation of the recovery in the Scottish economy.”

Edinburgh-based recruiters reported the strongest rise in permanent placements, while Glasgow posted the fastest rise in temporary billings for the second month running. Glasgow and Aberdeen reported the strongest deteriorations in permanent and temporary candidate availability, respectively. Dundee saw the weakest pay trend for both permanent and temporary staff in November.

Permanent salaries continued to rise strongly in November, while temporary worker hourly pay increased for the ninth consecutive month, but the latest rise was the weakest since April 2013.

Temporary billings at Scottish recruitment agencies rose at a marked pace, which was also the strongest in almost three years. Permanent staff placements rose sharply over the month, with the rate of growth the fastest since data collection began.

Demand for temporary staff rose markedly, with the rate of growth the fastest since September 2007. The number of permanent vacancies rose at the sharpest pace for over six years, during November 2013.

There was, however, a marked deterioration in the availability of temporary staff in November, although the rate of decline eased from October’s nine-year peak. The availability of permanent staff fell at the second-fastest pace in the near 11-year series history.

All eight sectors reported strong increases in temporary vacancies during November. The greatest rise was recorded in Nursing/Medical/Care, where the growth accelerated to a survey-high. This was followed by Hotel & Catering and IT & Computing. Demand for temporary staff was lowest for Executive & Professional. Demand for permanent staff rose at marked rates across all eight sectors. The strongest increase was recorded for IT & Computing, followed by Accounts & Financial and Executive & Professional. The weakest growth was registered for Blue Collar workers.   

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