Billings to recruiters for the appointment of contract staff climbed at their slowest pace in eight months in Scotland during December, the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs reveals.
The hourly wage inflation for contracting staff also eased, growing at the slowest rate since September, although the availability of Umbrella Company employees and other temporary candidates continued to fall for the 20th consecutive month.
Scottish recruiters reported that they saw only a slight rise in billings for temporary contracting staff, taking the seasonally adjusted reading on the bank’s Labour Market Barometer to just above 50. The barometer is a composite figure designed to give a snapshot of the Scottish labour market’s health, with anything above 50 representing growth.
The strongest demand for temporary staff remained in the nursing/medical/care sector.
In contrast, after hitting a seven-month low in November with a barometer reading of 55.1, the permanent jobs market bounced back with a reading of 58.3 ‒ still well below the July high-point of 68.4 though. Salary inflation for permanent employees also gathered momentum, hitting a rate near the July peak. As with temporary staff, permanent candidate availability continued to decline.
Commenting on the report, the Bank of Scotland’s chief economist, Donald MacRae, said: “The number of people appointed to jobs rose, with particularly strong growth in appointments to permanent jobs. The number of vacancies rose at a faster pace, while staring salaries rose at near-record levels. These results provide further evidence that the economic recovery continued at the end of last year and looks set to carry on into 2015.”