Scots job market improves in January, but growth slows

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Scotland’s labour market continued to improve in January, although at a slower pace than in previous months, a report out today reveals.

Recruitment agencies reported that economic conditions had generally improved, with a rise in demand for staff, particularly in temporary posts, the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs noted.

The increase in permanent salaries was also strong and showed the fastest rise since May 2012.

The Bank of Scotland labour market barometer – an indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of labour market conditions – continued to indicate an improvement.

The barometer was measured at 53.9, down from 56 in December 2012, but still above average for the past year.

In the report, any figure above 50 is indicative of an improvement in conditions compared to the month before.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at the bank, said: “January’s barometer signalled a continuing improvement in Scottish job market conditions.

“The number of people placed into permanent jobs remained strong, while vacancies for both permanent and temporary staff grew in the month.

“Demand for permanent staff was highest in engineering and construction, suggesting a modest pick-up in activity in this crucial sector in the coming spring.

“These results reinforce the hope that the Scottish economy enjoyed moderate growth in January 2013.”