Scotland has a “spring in its step” with the jobs outlook at its brightest since the third quarter of 2013, but its confidence lags behind that of the UK, according to a study published today.
Recruiter Manpower surveyed 2,102 UK employers, asking whether they intend to hire more workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter, and found the outlook north of the Border came in positive at 5 per cent.
That comes after the measure failed to stray far from zero for every quarter of this year, though it still weighs in under the 7 per cent reported for the UK as a whole. The highest level in the UK was 12 per cent, in the south-east, with Northern Ireland was the only region to record a negative outlook for the period at minus 2 per cent.
Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower UK, said that after a “pretty gloomy” 2015 in Scotland, “the new year heralds a very encouraging uptick in job prospects for the region”.
She added that it is “especially encouraging” that most roles are full-time and permanent, while noting the differing picture across Scotland.
She said: “In Edinburgh, we’re seeing most opportunities within financial services and customer service roles.
“Over in Glasgow, customer service roles in contact centres are also top of the pile and we are seeing significant volume hiring taking place.”
She said of Aberdeen that it is “still struggling” after oil price woes earlier this year and “is now experiencing the secondary effects, as other sectors such as hospitality and retail struggle with reduced demand”.
She added: “However, in previous quarters the jobs market in Grangemouth has suffered, but, in line with the overall positive mood in Scotland, we are encouraged to see some demand for industrial expertise this quarter.”
One area of expertise seeing particularly high demand is cyber security, Manpower noted, saying it has attracted record interest after high-profile data breaches such as those at TalkTalk, and this year its requests received for specialists with IT security expertise a four-fold increase from the previous year.
Manpower also said that despite the “positive national picture” in the forthcoming quarter, employers face “significant uncertainties” later in the year.