THE number of people placed in permanent jobs increased at its slowest level in four months in August, according to a new report.
There was also a slowdown in permanent salary inflation, to the weakest level seen for two years, the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs showed.
However, in contrast, average hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff increased sharply in August, with the rate of inflation the fastest since May.
Candidate availability worsened but the rate of decline was the slowest since May 2013.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose in August as did the number of vacancies.
“The availability of candidates for jobs declined while starting salaries for permanent staff increased, but at the slowest rate for two years.
“These results suggest the Scottish economy continues to grow but at a lower rate than this time last year.”
The report also showed the Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of labour market conditions - dipped to 56.2 in August, its lowest since May 2013.
The barometer was above the 50 “no-change” mark but was substantially lower than the corresponding UK index which reached a three-month high of 61.7.
After easing in July to the weakest in 26 months, the rate of growth in demand for permanent staff in Scotland rebounded during the latest survey period, to the strongest since March.
The rate of growth in temporary staff demand remained solid and was marginally faster than the average seen so far in 2015.
Nursing/medical/care saw the strongest increase in demand for permanent staff in Scotland, followed by IT & computing.
Meanwhile, the sharpest increase in demand for temporary staff was seen in the hotel & catering sector while the only decrease was in the executive & professional jobs sector.
Recruiters in Dundee recorded the fastest rises in both permanent and temporary placements.
Aberdeen was the worst-performing region, registering a slight drop in permanent appointments and only marginal growth in temporary ones.