Salaries soar amid hiring boom, candidate shortage

The latest Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs from IHS Market showed a strong uplift in hiring activity across Scotland in February.

Permanent placements rose at a near-record pace.

Demand for staff also picked up, with permanent vacancy growth hitting the fastest since last November and demand for temp staff also rising at a historically marked pace.

“Strong demand for workers placed further upwards pressure on rates of pay in February,” said the report.

“The rate of starting salary inflation was the second-highest on record, while the latest uplift in short-term pay rates remained sharp …

“For the fifteenth time in as many months, average salaries awarded to permanent new starters across Scotland rose in February.

“Notably, the rate of inflation quickened for the first time in three months and was the second-fastest on record (behind November 2021).

“According to survey respondents, a shortage of suitable candidates had placed upwards pressure on pay.”

Royal Bank of Scotland chief economist Sebastian Burnside said: “The Scottish labour market recorded a further strong uplift in hiring activity in February, as a further near-record rise in permanent staff appointments occurred alongside a sharp pick- up in temp billings.

“At the same time, candidate availability continued to decrease rapidly for both permanent and temp staff, albeit at softer rates than in January, while vacancy growth accelerated.

“Strong demand for scarce candidates subsequently led to further upwards pressures on pay.

“Midway through the first quarter of the year, the labour market remains in a strong position with no signs that momentum is cooling.”