Demand for permanent staff in Scotland rose for the first time in four months, a study has suggested.
The Bank of Scotland jobs report for October indicated that the slowdown in the Scottish economy may have been "arrested".
However analysts said the the growing number of people who were chasing work was continuing to restrict pay rates.
Average salaries for permanent candidates fell marginally, the fifth monthly decrease in a row.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said the improving demand for staff was the most positive since June this year.
He added: "Demand for both permanent and temporary employees rose, with the number of people placed into temporary positions increasing at a five-month high.
"While not as strong, the mild growth in permanent job placements was the first increase in four months."
Conditions in Scotland's labour market remain challenging, the report said, but the gap between Scotland and the UK had narrowed.
"The number of candidates available for jobs increased at a strong rate, putting pressure on salaries and wages," Mr MacRae added.
"This report shows the slowdown in the Scottish economy has been arrested rather than reversed this month."
The fastest increase in permanent and temporary placements was in Aberdeen and Edinburgh respectively. Meanwhile, Dundee posted the largest falls in both sectors.
IT and computing employees continued to be the most sought-after for the second month running.