Scottish labour market 'better than Britain's'


Employment prospects for Scottish workers are substantially greater than those for the labour market elsewhere in the UK, according to the Bank of Scotland.

The latest labour market barometer shows Scotland's employment climate, rated at 62.0, remains comfortably higher than the overall UK's rating of 59.8.

During August the number of firms looking to recruit increased significantly, with wages rising strongly and employment consultancies registering a small rise in permanent placements.

The engineering and construction sector was hungriest for new staff, the barometer found, while IT and computing employers looked for temporary employees more than in any other sector.

"Firms are looking to recruit more permanent and temporary staff in Scotland, which is encouraging news for Scottish job seekers," Tim Crawford, group economist at Bank of Scotland, commented.

"However, some posts are now taking longer to fill and salaries are rising as companies compete to attract qualified staff," he warned.

The current concern about a shortage of skills among graduates entering the labour market appears to have been reflected in today's data, with wage rises and a fall in candidate applications demonstrating a fall in the number of staff qualified to do the jobs employers require.

"Forty per cent of consultancies signalling a decline in candidates during August. Panellists blamed a tight labour market and the sustained growth of staff placements for worsening skill shortages," the Bank of Scotland said.

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