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Scotland – Temporary recruitment growth slowing

21 October 2013

The average billings from temporary staff rose at a solid pace during September 2013, albeit one which was weaker than the long-run series average and slower than that for the UK as a whole, according to the Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.

Permanent placements in September, however, showed a marked rise during the month. Although the rate of growth was slower than the record-highs of the previous two months, it reflected higher client demand, which rose to the greatest extent for almost two-and-a-half years.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer picked up slightly in September, rising to 60.0 from 59.7 in August. This was only marginally below July’s near six-year peak of 60.3, and signalled a marked improvement in Scottish job market conditions.   

Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at the Bank of Scotland, commented: “September’s Labour Market Barometer showed a continuing improvement in Scottish job market conditions. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs increased while growth in vacancies was marked. The Engineering & Construction sectors saw the highest rate of vacancies growth for almost two-and-a-half years. This is further welcome evidence of the strengthening of the recovery in the Scottish economy.”

Aberdeen saw the strongest increase in permanent placements for the fifth consecutive month in September. Meanwhile, Dundee saw the greatest rise in temporary appointments. Recruiters in Dundee reported the sharpest deterioration in permanent candidate availability, while Aberdeen saw the strongest reduction in temporary candidate numbers. Aberdeen-based recruitment agencies recorded the fastest rates of inflation for both permanent and temporary wages. 

Temporary hourly pay increased at a sharp pace, which was just shy of July’s eight-year record. There was a marked rise in permanent salaries, with the rate of inflation the fastest in six years.

Seven employment sectors registered an increase in temporary vacancies, with the only exception with Executive & Professional sector. Notably, the Nursing/Medical/Care sector posted the strongest rate of vacancy growth, with the latest expansion the sharpest since data collection began in January 2003. Demand for permanent staff increased in all eight sectors during the month. The Engineering & Construction and IT & Computing sectors led the expansion, with the rates of growth marked in both cases.  

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