Scotland’s labour market boosted by growing demand

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Demand for staff in Scotland rose strongly last month, according to a report that shows the country’s labour market is improving at the fastest pace since May 2011.

Today’s Bank of Scotland report also found that hourly pay rates for temporary workers rose at the fastest pace in more than four years, but warned that the availability of permanent staff fell sharply in December, with recruitment companies witnessing a particular lack of engineers.

In contrast to weaker growth trends across the UK as a whole, Scotland saw the number of temporary appointments rise at a 23-month high, with permanent placements growing at the quickest rate in eight months. Average starting salaries for permanent workers increased for the third month in a row, while demand for temporary staff pushed hourly wages growth to the highest level since May 2008.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “These results suggest the Scottish economy has exited the recent period of slowdown and is entering 2013 in growth mode.”