Scottish jobs market 'continues to improve'

Jobcentre The survey suggested the rate of growth in permanent placements was "solid"

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Scotland's job market continued to improve last month as more people found permanent and temporary posts, according to a survey of recruitment agencies.

The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs indicated placements grew at their highest rate for several months.

Recruitment agencies largely linked the increase to greater client demand.

Permanent salaries fell marginally, while hourly temp pay rates rose strongly during September.

Edinburgh-based recruiters reported the strongest increase in permanent placements, while the fastest rise in temp billings was posted by Dundee-based consultancies.

More than a third (36%) of respondents registered an increase in filled permanent posts over the month.

The rate of growth was "solid" and the fastest since May.

Five sectors posted an increase in available permanent jobs in September, with hotel and catering recording the strongest rise overall.

Temp staff billings also increased from August, with the latest rise marked and the strongest for five months.

Vacancy growth in the permanent jobs market quickened over the month, but slowed in the temporary labour market.

'Welcome increase'

The survey follows a report released by the Bank of Scotland last week, which suggested Scotland's private sector contracted in September for the first time in 20 months.

The survey of purchasing managers attributed the slight fall to a drop in the amount of new business firms were picking up.

Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: "Scotland's job market continued to improve in September with a welcome increase in people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs alongside a rising number of vacancies.

"The Scottish economy is maintaining employment in the face of the global slowdown.

"A significant fall in unemployment awaits a lift in both consumer and business confidence."

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