GROWTH in permanent jobs continued last month but at the slowest rate for almost two years, according to a report.
Demand for staff increased and starting salaries continued to rise, the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs showed.
These results suggest the Scottish economy continued to grow, albeit at a modest pace, in April.John Swinney
The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer stood at 59.1 in April, down from 60.6 in March, the lowest reading in 22 months and below the index for the UK as a whole.
The barometer measures areas such as levels of staff demand, employment and wages to create a single-figure snapshot of labour market conditions.
The figure is measured against a baseline of 50, with anything above representing an improvement and anything below a deterioration.
Edinburgh recorded the strongest increase in permanent placements and Dundee the largest rise in temporary positions across the country.
The most marked rise in demand for permanent and temporary staff was in the medical and care sector, followed by IT and computing.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s labour market continued to improve in the month. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose modestly while the number of vacancies increased in the month.
“Starting salaries rose sharply and temp pay rates increased.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We welcome this further evidence that conditions in Scotland’s job market are continuing to improve. The Bank of Scotland report shows an improving labour market picture for the fifty-fourth consecutive month, with demand for permanent staff continuing to increase.
“The report comes at a time when the Office for National Statistics figures published last week show that Scotland’s jobs market is performing well across a range of measures. They showed that we have the lowest youth unemployment level in seven years, and Scotland currently has the highest employment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations.
“This Government is committed to supporting all of Scotland’s businesses and people, by creating the conditions for everyone in Scotland to fulfil their potential.
“These results suggest the Scottish economy continued to grow, albeit at a modest pace, in April.”