Jobs and wage growth gain pace in Scotland

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Scotland’s economic recovery strengthened last month as firms created permanent jobs at their fastest rate for a year.

The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs, published today, also showed temporary wage billings reached a three-month high and wage growth gained pace in April as the pool of available candidates shrank.

The bank’s labour market barometer posted 54 in April, compared to 53 in March, with scores above 50 indicating jobs growth.

The bank’s chief economist, Donald MacRae, said the results were evidence “for the Scottish economy beginning to demonstrate a more robust recovery”.

Recruiters told the bank the rise in permanent placements was linked to greater client demand and a stronger labour market.

The barometer has now been in positive territory for more than a year and has shown the Scottish labour market outperforming the UK as a whole.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said it supported official figures published last week which showed a record quarterly increase in Scottish employment.

“Scotland continues to show a higher employment rate and lower unemployment than the UK – as well as stronger economic growth and youth unemployment figures that continue to outperform the UK,” he said.

He said the Scottish Government could do more given “the full fiscal and economic powers of independence”.