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Scotland – Temporary and permanent placements continue to rise rapidly

17 February 2014

January’s Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs showed further marked increases in permanent and temporary staff placements. Driving job creation was a strengthening of demand for staff, with the latest rise in permanent vacancies a near-survey record. Combined with a further drop in candidate numbers, the pick-up in demand supported strong growth in staff pay, although rates of inflation in salaries and hourly rates for temporary workers eased since December. 

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer, a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions, posted 62.6 in January, signalling a further marked improvement in the health of Scotland’s labour market. The Barometer dipped slightly from December’s recent peak of 63.6, but was nevertheless above both its long-run average and the equivalent index for the UK as a whole.

Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: “January showed a further marked improvement in Scotland’s labour market returning the Barometer to pre-crisis levels of 2007. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs increased rapidly while vacancies rose sharply across all sectors. Salaries rose strongly for those appointed to permanent jobs demonstrating increasing business confidence. The recovery in the Scottish economy is not only continuing but is strengthening as we enter 2014.”

For the second consecutive month Edinburgh recorded the fastest increases in both permanent and temporary placements. Glasgow saw the most marked deterioration in permanent candidate numbers, while Aberdeen posted the sharpest drop in temporary candidate numbers.

Pay pressures were strongest overall in Glasgow, which registered the fastest increases in both permanent starting salaries and hourly pay rates for temporary staff. Easing only slightly from December’s survey record, salary inflation remained strong at the start of the year. Temporary/contractor hourly pay also rose markedly, albeit to a lesser extent than in the preceding survey period.

January’s increase in permanent appointments was at its weakest since last May, though still strong in the context of historical survey data. Growth in temporary billings in Scotland also eased since December, but was nevertheless sharp overall.

Permanent job vacancies rose at the second-fastest rate in the 11-year survey history, only fractionally slower than the series record in April 2006. Although the slowest since October, growth in the demand for temporary staff remained sharp in January.

The number of candidates seeking permanent employment fell steeply in January, and to a greater degree than during December 2013. Temporary candidate availability, on the other hand, deteriorate less markedly than in December.

Continuing the trend observed in the past four month, temporary/contract job vacancies increased in all eight of the sectors monitored by the survey in January. Leading growth was Nursing/Medical/Care, which, for the sixth consecutive month, reported a series-record increase in demand for temporary staff.

Permanent staff vacancies increased to the greatest extent in the Accounts & Financial sector, where growth was the fastest in the 11-year series history. This was followed by growth in Nursing/Medical/Care.

Jobs in Greatest Demand Permanent Temporary
1 Accounts & Financial Nursing/Medical/Care
2 Nursing/Medical/Care IT & Computing
3 IT & Computing Hotel & Catering
4 Engineering & Construction Engineering & Construction
5 Hotel & Catering Executive & Professional
6 Executive & Professional Accounts & Financial
7 Secretarial & Clerical Secretarial & Clerical
8 Blue Collar Blue Collar


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