Scots firms taking on staff

Scottish employers took on more staff last month as the jobs market closed the gap on the rest of the UK, according to a report out today.

The latest Bank of Scotland report on jobs reveals a jump in the number of people placed into both permanent and temporary jobs in November, with the biggest improvements seen in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Almost four in ten Scottish recruitment and employment agencies reported a rise in the number of people securing permanent work last month. It was the fastest rate of increase since April and reflected greater confidence in the economic recovery as companies increased their demand for staff. There was similarly strong growth in temporary placements, with the number of people placed in temporary or contract roles rising at the fastest rate in six months.

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The number of permanent job vacancies available in November also rose, although the rate of increase was slower than that across the UK overall for the 16th successive month.

The increased demand for staff and a small drop in the number of people available to fill permanent jobs helped push the average permanent salary up for the first time in six months.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said that while conditions within the Scottish labour market have improved in recent months, they remain challenging.

"Average salaries paid to permanent staff increased for the first time in six months during November as demand for permanent employees rose.

"This is a welcome improvement in the labour market, confirming Scotland's slow recovery from recession and almost closing the gap with the rest of the UK."