Scotland business

Steady improvement for Scottish job market, survey says

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Image caption All eight employment sectors recorded an increase, particularly in engineering and construction

Scotland's labour market showed further improvement in February, according to a monthly Bank of Scotland jobs survey.

The report said permanent placements and temporary billings rose at a marked pace during the month, reflecting a greater demand for new staff.

The number of permanent appointments rose for the fourth successive month, suggesting labour market conditions improved at a solid pace in February.

Edinburgh had the fastest rate of permanent appointment growth.

The report's labour market barometer registered its highest reading since January 2008.

All eight employment sectors recorded an increase in demand for both temporary and permanent workers, with a noticeable pickup of growth in engineering and construction vacancies.

But the average wages and salaries awarded to staff increased only slightly during the latest survey period.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "The Scottish economy is recovering from the bad weather effects of winter.

"Permanent appointments to jobs grew at the fastest rate since December 2009, while temporary staff billings also grew in February.

"However, we need these improvements to be sustained throughout the year to begin to reduce unemployment."

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said: "These figures present further evidence that Scotland's economy is strengthening and show the Scottish government's robust actions to support jobs, skills and training are delivering real results."

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