Published on Sunday 20 May 2012 01:05
The jobs market has shown its strongest improvement in almost a year, according to research.
Recruitment consultants reported a “substantial rise” in the number of people given permanent work in April, a Bank of Scotland report on jobs said. The number of people placed in temporary work has also increased, in each month of 2012 so far.
A strong improvement in the Scottish jobs market was indicated last month, according to the Labour Market Barometer, given within the report, which is designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of job market conditions.
At 55.8, up from 54.6 in March, the barometer was at its highest level since May 2011 and remained higher than the equivalent index for the UK as a whole (51.5).
The barometer gives a figure of 50 when there is no change, so anything above means there has been an improvement. The highest demand for both permanent and temporary staff in April was in IT and computing and the secretarial and clerical sectors.
The average salary paid to permanent staff rose for the third month in a row; around 11% of respondents reported an increase in pay, the report said. Pay rates for temporary jobs also increased in April, although this rise was deemed moderate and the weakest since January.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “April’s barometer showed the strongest improvement in the Scottish jobs market for 11 months. The number of people appointed to jobs grew markedly over the month, as did the number of vacancies for both permanent and temporary jobs.
“This reinforces hopes that the slowdown in the Scottish economy experienced at the end of last year has not extended into 2012 and that we may yet see modest growth for the remainder of the year.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “This is the eighteenth month of reported improvement in the Scottish Labour market, with the barometer at its highest level since May 2011 and Scotland once again outperforming the UK.”
“The Scottish Government understands the importance of employment creation and this week we welcomed Aker Solutions’ plans to add another 500 jobs to its 2,700-strong operation in Aberdeen. This follows successive announcements by international companies looking to invest here. This stream of investment is crucial for our recovery and is a vote of confidence in Scotland.”
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