Job hiring activity improves across Scotland

Permanent staff appointments across Scotland rose during January, ending an 11-month sequence of decline, according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.

Firms, particularly in the IT and computing sector, resumed hiring efforts amid “improved market conditions.”

The January data highlighted an improvement in hiring activity across Scotland.

“Permanent placements rose for the first time in a year, while temp billings increased for the fifth straight month,” said the report.

“The latest expansions were only mild, but were nonetheless a stark contrast to the unprecedented downturns seen last spring.

“Meanwhile, candidate availability rose further, with panellists attributing the latest upturn to redundancies, although the rates of increase slowed noticeably on the month.

“Upwards pay pressures persisted into the new year, as highlighted by further rises in starting pay.

“That said, both salaries and temp wages increased at softer rates compared to December.”

Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s job market posted a good performance at the start of the year, with hiring activity rising for both permanent and temporary staff.

“The rates of increase were only mild, but still pointed to a solid improvement from the substantial reductions seen during the spring of 2020.

“The upturn in permanent staff appointments was also a marked contrast to the decline recorded across the UK as a whole during January.

“With more candidates placed in roles, the supply of staff increased at a slower pace, although there were still reports that redundancies were driving the net increase in job seekers.

“Although conditions seem to be improving, the labour market is not out of the woods yet, with plenty of lost ground to make up.

“Nonetheless, tentative steps towards a recovery, despite stricter lockdown measures, is welcome news.”