THE job market continued to grow last month, although at a slower rate than the previous month, according to the Bank of Scotland.
Its latest report showed another sharp increase in permanent staff placements and a rise in demand for permanent staff.
A slow-down in rates compared with February’s report reflected a lack of candidate availability, affecting recruiters’ ability to fill vacancies.
Staff pay rose strongly as the demand for new employees was further strengthened, according to the report.
The bank’s labour market barometer measures areas such as levels of staff demand, employment and wages in permanent and temporary jobs to create a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions.
It registered at 63.9 in March, unchanged from February’s mark, making it the joint-second highest in the series history.
The figure is measured against a baseline of 50. Anything above 50 represents an improvement in market conditions and below is a deterioration.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “The barometer reading for March was the joint-second highest in the history of the survey reaching pre-recession levels.
“The number of people appointed to jobs increased accompanied by a strong rise in job vacancies during the month.
“The number of candidates available for permanent jobs fell contributing to a robust rise in starting salaries. This tightening jobs market provides more evidence of increasing business confidence and embedding of the growing recovery.”