Scots job placements fall at softest pace in 8 months

The latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs said that permanent job placements in September declined at the softest pace for eight months.

“Meanwhile, temporary billings returned to growth, with the rate of expansion the fastest for a year,” said the report.

“There were reports that some companies had resumed hiring as firms reopened and expanded their capacity following an easing of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown measures.

“That said, the pandemic continued to be cited as a key factor weighing on overall recruitment decisions.

“At the same time, widespread reports of redundancies led to further rapid increases in both permanent and temporary candidate numbers.”

Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “September survey data highlighted a slightly improved picture for the Scottish labour market.

“Permanent placements declined at a much softer rate, whilst temporary billings returned to growth and expanded at the quickest pace for a year.

“Although an improvement on the massive drop in hiring during the height of the pandemic, we have not yet seen a recovery by any means, and stricter lockdown measures amid a resurgence of the virus poses a risk to the outlook.

“Moreover, the UK furlough scheme ends in less than a month, superseded by the less extensive Job Support Scheme.

“Consequently, there will be further challenges ahead for the Scottish labour market, with the potential for any steps towards a recovery to be lost if job cutting intensifies.”