The latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs from IHS Market shows that permanent staff appointments in Scotland rose in December at the steepest rate for three months.
Hiring activity across Scotland continued to increase in December, according to the report.
A 13th straight monthly rise in permanent starting salaries across Scotland was recorded.
However, pandemic-related concerns weighed on the amount of work available for short-term staff, with the rate of increase in temporary billings easing to the weakest since the current period of expansion began in September 2020.
“December data pointed to a further rise in the number of permanent staff appointments across Scotland, stretching the current sequence of expansion which began in January 2021,” said the report.
“Improved confidence and stronger demand for staff were cited by respondents as drivers of the latest uplift.
“Moreover, the rate of increase accelerated to a three-month high and was sharp overall, and outpaced the UK-wide average.
“Recruiters across Scotland recorded another uplift in temp billings during December, amid reports of strong demand for candidates.
“That said, the rate of increase slowed sharply to the weakest in the current 16-month sequence and was modest overall, with some panellists noting that COVID-19 had weighed on the amount of short-term work available.”
Sebastian Burnside, Chief Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “December data provided some mixed signals for the Scottish labour market.
“Permanent staff appointments rose at the steepest rate for three months, but the upturn in temporary billings eased significantly from November, with the rate of increase the weakest in the current 16-month sequence of growth.
“Following a survey-record upturn in hiring activity during the third quarter, the data suggests a cooling of momentum at the end of 2021.
“Nonetheless, recruitment activity remains robust by historical standards and demand for staff remains marked.
“Although in a strong position at the turn of the year, the possibility of stricter lockdown measures is a key concern for the labour market, and we are already seeing hints that the Omicron variant has weighed on hiring as we enter 2022.”