Scots job market booms amid ‘sustained recovery’

Permanent staff appointments across Scotland rose at a faster pace during April — with the rate of increase the fastest since July 2014 — according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.

The report said the rate of increase was the second strongest on record “amid reports of surging demand” for staff due to more favourable economic conditions.

“A fourth straight monthly rise in permanent placements across Scotland was recorded during April,” said the report.

“Moreover, the rate of increase quickened sharply to the second-strongest on record, with only July 2014 seeing a more marked upturn.

“Panellists attributed the increase to greater demand for staff amid increased economic activity.

“The UK also saw near record growth of permanent appointments in March, although the upturn in Scotland was faster than that seen at the national level.”

The April data highlighted a further steep rise in average salaries awarded to permanent new employees across Scotland.

According to panellists, a low supply of candidates pushed up pay rates.

Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Scottish labour market continued to perform strongly into the second quarter of the year.

“Permanent appointments rose at the second-fastest rate since the survey began in 2003, while temp billings rose solidly, with anecdotal evidence noting that firms were upping their hiring activity due to better economic conditions.

“Further positive signs came from vacancies data, which highlighted further surges in demand for both short-term and permanent staff, a clear indication that companies across Scotland are stepping up hiring efforts in line with the easing of pandemic-related restrictions.

“The switch towards hiring permanent staff may also reflect improved confidence and a clearer outlook among Scottish firms.

“Overall, the data point to a sustained recovery of the labour market, as businesses anticipate a return to more normal business conditions over the summer.”