Scots job recovery ‘gathered pace’ in February

The Scottish job market continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in February, according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.

“Hiring activity rose again, with quicker upturns in both permanent placements and temp billings recorded amid reports that businesses were adapting to restrictions and beginning to fill roles,” said the report.

“Subsequently, demand for permanent staff increased for the first time in a year, while the latest rise in temp vacancies was sharp …

“Recruiters across Scotland registered another uptick in the number of permanent placements during February, with the increase accelerating to a solid pace.

“Panellists attributed the rise to greater demand for candidates as businesses continue to adapt to COVID-19 measures.

“The rise in Scotland also contrasted with the UK-wide trend in February, where permanent staff appointments declined again.”

Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “February data provided further positive signs for the Scottish labour market, as hiring activity continued to rise despite ongoing lockdown measures.

“Moreover, the upturns in both temp billings and permanent placements gathered pace on the month.

“With firms finding ways to continue operations in spite of restrictions, demand for workers increased during February, a clear sign that Scottish businesses are beginning to focus on growth opportunities when measures are eased.

“All in all, this is good news for job seekers.

“With more roles available, we should see further increases in placements over the coming months and if the trend continues, the labour market will make good progress in its recovery.”