Demand for permanent Scots staff ‘highest in 14 years’

The latest IHS Markit Report on Jobs for Scotland signalled improving labour market conditions in Scotland, with sharp rises in worker placements, record growth in permanent staff demand and falling availability all pointing to “robust market conditions for those working in the Scottish economy.”

Salary inflation remained steep in May.

Demand for permanent staff in Scotland rose sharply in the latest survey period, with May’s data signalling the fastest rate of expansion in the survey’s 14-year history.

Meanwhile, Scottish recruitment consultancies also recorded further steep growth in demand for temporary staff.

Staff demand rose fastest in the IT and computing sector for both permanent and temporary roles.

The rate of expansion in May in permanent staff placements in Scotland reached its highest in 27 months.

The latest data also showed that the number of available candidates for vacant positions in Scotland fell steeply.

The availability of permanent staff declined at the fastest rate in a year.

Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) director of policy Tom Hadley said: “With demand for permanent staff in Scotland now at the highest level recorded in the survey’s 14-year history, the challenges facing the next government couldn’t be clearer.

“The number of people available to fill vacancies has plummeted, official data shows unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 1975, and EU citizens are leaving the UK in droves.

“Employers are running out of options.

“Skill shortages are causing headaches in many sectors.

“The NHS for example is becoming increasingly reliant on short-term cover to fill gaps in hospital rotas because there aren’t enough nurses to take permanent roles.

“Meanwhile, the shortage of people with cyber security skills is a particular concern in many businesses in the wake of the recent high-profile WannaCry attacks.

“Whichever party forms the next government must focus on improving the employability of our young people and boosting inclusion for underrepresented groups. Alongside this, these figures clearly show that in many sectors we need more, not fewer people so that businesses can grow and public services continue to deliver.”