Employment figures received a welcome boost last month, as the number of part-time workers taking temporary posts brought the number of employed people up to its highest level in over a year, a new survey has revealed.
The report, from accountants BDO Stoy Hayward, reveals that the employment index rose from 107.8 to 108.4 during December, boosted also by large numbers of immigrant workers from eastern Europe helping to restrain wages and increase the flexibility of Britain's workforce.
Neil Craig, managing partner at BDO Stoy Hayward in Scotland, told the Scotsman that, despite more immigrant workers pushing down wages, wage growth was still being maintained.
"It's also forecast to rise this month with the latest pay settlement round, as employees push for large wage increases to counter higher inflation," he revealed.
Mr Craig warned that higher inflation and the expectation of wage increases were making it look "increasingly likely" that the Bank of England's monetary policy committee would raise interest rates during the next three months, although he noted that any rise would probably be rebalanced later in the year.