Growth subdued in Scottish jobs market

Scotland’s jobs market remained subdued last month, a new report by Royal Bank of Scotland today indicates.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at RBS. Picture: Ian Jacobs
Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at RBS. Picture: Ian Jacobs

Permanent staff placements continued to expand during March, though at a “subdued pace” that held close to February’s recent low, the bank’s latest Report on Jobs showed.

Temporary placements grew “sharply”, while actual demand for both categories of staff grew at a faster pace than in February.

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Candidate availability continued to worsen, the report added, with declines in both short-term and permanent labour supplies gathering pace. As a result, pay pressures intensified during the month.

The report, which is compiled by IHS Markit, is based on a monthly survey of about 100 recruitment and employment consultants and is seasonally adjusted.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at RBS, said: “Following the marked slowdown seen in the opening months of 2019 in permanent staff appointments, March data revealed little signs of any recovery to the strong levels seen at the end of last year, with growth remaining subdued overall.

“Nevertheless, relative to the rest of the UK, Scotland continued to outperform, as has been the case for much of the past year. Survey data for the UK as a whole pointed to the quickest fall in permanent staff placements in over two-and-a-half years in March.”

Starting salaries awarded to people joining permanently rose markedly, but at a rate that was little-changed from February’s near two-year low.