Permanent Scots job placements soar; salaries up

Permanent staff appointments in Scotland increased at a near-record pace in January, according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs from IHS Markit.

The supply of permanent staff across Scotland continued to fall in January, amid reports of strong demand for workers and skills shortages.

“Recruiters across Scotland recorded a thirteenth successive monthly uplift in permanent placements during January,” said the report.

“Panellists attributed the upturn to strong demand for staff and increased activity at Scottish companies.

“Moreover, the rate of expansion was the second-fastest on record, behind only August 2021, and rapid overall.

“Scotland also recorded a quicker rise in permanent staff appointments than on average across the UK as a whole in January.

“As has been the case in each month since September 2020, temp billings across Scotland rose in January.”

The report added: “January data highlighted a further rise in average salaries awarded to permanent new joiners across Scotland, extending the current sequence of increase to 14 months.

“Strong demand for staff, coupled with issues finding talent, drove the latest upturn, according to anecdotal evidence.

“Notably, the rate of salary inflation remained close to November’s peak, easing only slightly since December.

“For the fourteenth time in as many months, average hourly pay rates for short-term staff across Scotland rose in January.

“Panellists attributed the latest increase to strong demand for staff. That said, the rate of increase was the slowest since last July, albeit still marked in the context of historical data.”

Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Economist Sebastian Burnside said: “The opening month of 2022 saw some shifting trends across the Scottish labour market.

“Permanent staff appointments increased at a near-record pace, with the latest upturn outstripping the UK-wide average by a notable margin.

“There was a different story for temporary staff, however, as the rate of increase in temp billings slowed and was only mild, with respondents noting that a number of candidates and firms were favouring permanent roles as confidence around the economic outlook strengthened.

“Meanwhile, rates of vacancy growth cooled slightly, and the supply of staff continued to decline steeply, for temp candidates in particular.

“Overall, the data suggest that the labour market remains on a strong footing as we head further into 2022, and any shift from short-term to permanent positions suggests firms are now more confident in the recovery and are pressing on with hiring plans to meet rising customer demand.”