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UK – Permanent staff placements up on Scottish labour market

21 March 2012

The Scottish labour market improved in February as the number of candidates placed into permanent and temporary work both went up, topping growth rates elsewhere in the UK, the latest Bank of Scotland report on Jobs indicates.

Temp staff billings went up at the fastest rate in six months. Firms generally attributed the increase in staff placements to greater client demand. At the same time the average permanent salaries also increased modestly in February while temp hourly pay rates rose at the fastest pace in four months.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer – a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions – registered 52.4 in February, signalling a solid improvement in Scotland’s job market. This was up from 50.4 in January and hence the Barometer indicated the strongest improvement since last October.

The report also shows that permanent candidate availability rose for the first time in four months while temp availability increased solidly.

Seven employment sectors posted a larger number of permanent job vacancies in February, led by IT & Computing and Scottish recruitment agencies only reported a decline in the Secretarial & Clerical sector.

Temp vacancies increased in five employment sectors in February, with Nursing/Medical/Care posting the fastest rise, followed by IT & Computing, Accounts & Financial, and Engineering & Construction. Demand for Executive & Professional temps was unchanged from January, but fell in both the Blue Collar and Hotel & Catering categories.

“Scotland’s labour market showed an important improvement in February. Not only did the number of people placed into jobs rise, but salaries for permanent jobs increased at a modest rate. The number of vacancies for permanent jobs increased to a four-month high. The deterioration evident from April last year appears to have been arrested at the beginning of this year. This latest barometer reading suggests the Scottish economy is continuing a slow recovery from recession rather than lapsing back into recession,” said Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland. 

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