Scottish labour market suffers slight deceleration in October

The Scottish labour market saw a “slight loss of momentum” last month, as the rate of hiring activity cooled, according to a new report published today by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Both permanent placements and temp billings continued to rise – the latter for the 14th month in a row – amid reports of strong demand for staff due to the reopening of the economy, but the rates of increase eased to the slowest since March and April respectively, according to the lender’s latest Report on Jobs.

At the same time, recruiters signalled further steep drops in the supply of permanent and short-term staff, the former falling for the ninth consecutive month, and sharp rates of vacancy growth.

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Recruiters signalled further steep drops in the supply of permanent and short-term staff. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
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Panellists reported difficulties finding candidates due to strong demand, Covid-19 and Brexit. Subsequently, pay pressures remained, as rates of both starting salary and temp wage inflation remained close to their all-time highs, despite easing on the month.

Regarding permanent roles, IT and computing registered the strongest increase in vacancies, while on the temporary side, hotel and catering topped the list in terms of demand.

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RBS chief economist Sebastian Burnside said: “Following a survey-record uplift in hiring activity during the third quarter, the latest data point to a slight loss of momentum in the Scottish labour market.

“With the labour market running hot, supply and demand imbalances may limit firms’ abilities to fill roles in the months ahead, while also pushing firms to up their pay offers in order to secure or even retain staff.”

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