Scotland business

Bank of Scotland survey: Labour market growth continues

The job market continued to grow last month, although at a slower rate than the previous month, according to the Bank of Scotland.

Its Labour Market Barometer showed another sharp increase in people getting permanent staff placements as well as a rise in demand for workers.

The report said a lack of suitable candidates was affecting recruiters' ability to fill vacancies.

Staff pay rose strongly as the demand for new employees further strengthened.

The bank's labour market barometer measures areas such as levels of staff demand, employment and wages in permanent and temporary jobs to create a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions.

It registered at 63.9 in March, unchanged from February's mark.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "The barometer reading for March was the joint-second highest in the history of the survey reaching pre-recession levels.

"The number of people appointed to jobs increased, accompanied by a strong rise in job vacancies during the month.

"The number of candidates available for permanent jobs fell, contributing to a robust rise in starting salaries. This tightening jobs market provides more evidence of increasing business confidence and embedding of the growing recovery."

Business trends

Meanwhile, in a separate report, business advisers BDO found hiring intentions among private sector firms were at their strongest for six years in March.

BDO's business trends report also found optimism and output expectations were strong, notably among manufacturers.

Business input costs were steady in the survey, and well down on last year.

The consultancy said that, while unemployment was falling and under-employment remained high, competition for jobs was likely to remain fierce.

It said labour-intensive services firms would continue to benefit from relatively low wage growth.

Martin Gill, head of BDO in Scotland, said the survey pointed to a need to attract more workers to Scotland.

He said: "Recent evidence suggests that foreign students, a vital pillar of our education system and a source of overseas earnings, have been put off coming to the UK.

"The strident tone of the immigration debate may put talented professionals off working here too. The harm this will do the economy is something we should all strive to avoid."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites