Jobs Report Shows Confidence High

The labour market in Scotland continued to improve last month as business confidence remained high, a new report found.

There were sharp increases in permanent placements and salaries in October, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.

However growth in the temporary jobs market eased somewhat, reaching its slowest level in five months.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer also remained high, indicating a marked improvement in labour market conditions.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "October saw the Labour Market Barometer reach 65.0 - the fourth highest in the survey history - signalling further improvements in labour market conditions in Scotland.

"The number of people appointed to jobs increased, as did starting salaries. A rise in vacancies confirmed business confidence remains high. The recovery in the Scottish economy looks set to continue into 2015.''

The report found there was a "further sharp increase'' in average starting salaries for permanent staff in Scotland last month, while the pace of growth in hourly pay rates of temporary/contract staff rebounded at the start of the fourth quarter and was solid.

Consultancies recorded a "sharp and slightly accelerated'' increase in the number of people placed in permanent jobs during October.

The strongest rise in permanent job openings was in the IT and computing sector, while the sharpest increase in demand for temporary staff north of the border was in nursing/medical/care.

The availability of candidates for permanent vacancies in Scotland deteriorated further last month, while there was a sharp decrease in the number of people available for temporary positions.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "We welcome this further evidence of a strengthening labour market in Scotland, with a stronger result than for the UK as a whole. The Bank of Scotland report shows an improving employment picture for the 48th consecutive month with the demand for permanent staff appointments increasing in Scotland.

"The report comes at a time when the Office for National Statistics figures published last week show that employment continues to rise and unemployment continues to fall in the Scottish economy. In addition, Scotland has the highest employment rate, lowest unemployment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations.

"The latest budget for Scotland outlines key measures that will secure continued growth and further improvements in employment, for example through our #4.5 billion of infrastructure investment in 2015-16 and support for businesses by continuing to deliver the most competitive business tax environment in the UK.''

Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said: "While the Scottish economic recovery is set to continue in 2015, we do also have to recognise we are not immune to global economic problems, this makes sticking to our long term economic plan, backing businesses and creating the conditions for them to grow and employ more staff all the more important.

"I look forward to working with the new First Minister and her new team in the coming weeks. Scotland's two government's share the same aim of creating a better Scotland and creating more jobs across our country.''

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