Salaries soar amid shortage of Scots job candidates

The supply of permanent staff in Scotland plummeted “at a record pace” in November, while short-term staff availability also fell rapidly — forcing employers to hike starting salaries “at the quickest rate on record.”

That’s according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs from IHS Markit.

” … candidate availability decreased further, with the supply of permanent staff plummeting at a record pace while short-term staff availability fell rapidly,” said the report.

“Demand for workers remained historically strong despite easing on the month, which placed further upwards pressure on rates of pay.

“Notably, permanent starters’ salaries rose at the quickest rate on record in November.”

Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Scottish labour market continues to run hot midway through the fourth quarter.

“Hiring activity rose markedly, amid reports of strong demand for candidates, although there were signs that candidate shortages were starting to bite in November, with the rates of increase in permanent placements and temp billings the slowest since February and April, respectively.

“Skills shortages were also reflected in a further drop in candidate availability, in particular for permanent staff where the fall was the steepest on record.

“This led to further upwards pressure on pay in November, with rapid rises in salaries and wages for permanent and short-term staff, with the former increasing at the strongest pace in the series history.

“Although strong, the loss of growth momentum points to early signs that tightness in the labour market is beginning to weigh on its performance.”

The report said that for the tenth time in as many months, permanent candidate availability across Scotland declined during November.

“Panellists attributed the latest reduction to lingering caution among candidates about switching roles amid the pandemic and strong demand for staff,” said the update.

“Furthermore, the rate of decrease accelerated to the fastest on record …

“Anecdotal evidence attributed the latest uplift in pay to candidate shortages, and companies subsequently lifting salaries to attract top talent.

“Notably, the rate of salary inflation was the quickest on record and rapid …”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.