There has been a marked improvement in Scotland’s jobs market, with new research showing an increase in both permanent appointments and vacancies.
The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs revealed the sharpest rise in permanent staff appointments in the survey’s ten-and-a-half year history.
The number of permanent job vacancies “grew strongly” in July, with recruitment agencies also reporting an increase in demand for temporary workers.
Meanwhile, permanent salaries rose for the fifth month in a row.
Overall, the Bank’s labour market barometer - which aims to provide a snapshot of conditions in the jobs market - reached its highest level since July 2007.
The research was released at the same time as another survey provided more good news for the economy.
The business trends report from accountants and business advisers BDO LLP showed levels of optimism had risen for the six month in a row, with this in turn feeding into businesses’ employment intentions.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at the Bank of Scotland, said the results from their latest jobs report “suggest rising business confidence is translating into a continuation of the recovery in the Scottish economy this summer”.
He stated: “July’s Barometer rose to its highest level since September 2007.
“The number of people appointed to permanent jobs rose markedly while the number of vacancies for both permanent and temporary jobs increased strongly. Vacancy growth was marked in the engineering and construction sector.”
As well as the increase in permanent salaries, the study revealed hourly pay rates for temporary staff had increased at the joint sharpest pace since the research began in January 2003.
Across Scotland, Aberdeen-based recruiters enjoyed the largest increases in both permanent and temporary placements.
Demand for permanent workers increased in seven sectors of the jobs market, with only the blue collar sector reporting a decline.
In the temporary jobs market only the executive and professional sector experienced a decrease in vacancies in July, with all other seven sectors seeing a rise.
The BDO research found output had risen in both the service sector and manufacturing, with the BDO output index - which reflects the current experiences of businesses and their short-term expectations for turnover - rising for the fifth month in a row in July to reach a 26 month high.
Confidence also appears to be increasing, with BDO’s optimism index, which predicts performance in six months time, rising for the sixth consecutive month to the highest level since April last year.
Martin Gill, partner and head of BDO LLP in Scotland, commented: “It’s encouraging to see short-term business prospects improving and confidence in our economy continuing to strengthen.
“Indeed, all of our indices moved in the right direction this month, suggesting that the new Bank of England governor Mark Carney has joined at an opportune time. However one need only look at the last five years of zig-zagging economic growth and business confidence to know that sustained expansion will not be achieved easily.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The Bank of Scotland report on jobs continues what has been a positive trend in employment and encouraging proof of progress on Scotland’s economy. These figures are the highest recorded since 2007 - that is since before the economic recession.
“It is particularly encouraging that appointment of permanent staff is now growing at its strongest pace in the history of this analysis.
“Scotland has the most competitive business environment anywhere in the UK backed by significant investment in our infrastructure. We have a higher employment rate, lower unemployment rate than the UK, stronger economic growth and youth unemployment figures outperforming the UK rate.”