Appointments of both permanent and temporary staff in Aberdeen fell again in March while the rest of the country enjoyed continued signs of improvement in local job markets, according to a report.
The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs said that Dundee saw the sharpest increases in both permanent placements and temp billings in March, but further decreases were seen Aberdeen. The research did not provide figures on the rate of the fall off in jobs affecting the Granite City.
The report, undertaken for the bank my research firm Markit, showed that the number of people placed in permanent jobs by recruitment consultancies north of the border increased for the twenty-fifth straight month in March, although the rate of growth was slower than in February and weaker than the UK average.
Billings received from the employment of temporary staff meanwhile rose fractionally, following only modest growth in the month before. That compared with a sharp increase across the UK as a whole.
But starting salaries continued to rise sharply, in part reflecting a lack of available candidates, Bank of Scotland said.
The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer stood at 60.6 in March, up from 59.8 in February, the highest reading in three months.
The barometer measures areas such as levels of staff demand, employment and wages to create a single-figure snapshot of labour market conditions.
The figure is measured against a baseline of 50, with anything above representing an improvement and anything below a deterioration.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “Conditions in the Scottish labour market continued to improve in March this year. The number of people appointed to jobs increased while the number of vacancies grew over the month.
“The rate of growth in starting salaries for permanent jobs recovered strongly from February’s 15-month low. This barometer suggests the slowdown in growth in January to March will be reversed in the coming months.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Bank of Scotland report shows an improving labour market picture for the 53rd consecutive month, with demand for permanent staff continuing to increase.
“The report comes at a time when the Office for National Statistics figures published last week show that Scotland’s jobs market is performing well across a range of measures.
“They showed participation in Scotland’s labour market is at a record high, and Scotland currently has the highest employment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations.”