Scottish jobs market 'loses momentum'
The Scottish labour market has lost some momentum this year but remains strong, according to a survey of recruitment agencies.
The Royal Bank of Scotland found permanent staff appointments and temporary postings were up in February, but there was a slowdown in growth.
The latest survey results extended the run of growth in permanent appointments to 25 months.
This was in contrast with the UK as a whole, where placements "stagnated".
Demand for both temporary and permanent workers also rose strongly.
Permanent staff availability declined, although at a softer pace than in recent months, while temporary staff shortages were also apparent across the UK.
Scottish recruitment agencies, meanwhile, pointed to further growth in pay last month.
Salaries awarded to permanent staff starting work rose sharply, despite the rate of inflation easing to the slowest since March 2017.
Short-term pay rates in Scotland also increased, according to the monthly survey of about 100 recruitment and employment consultants.
Nick Stamenkovic, senior economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: "All in all, the Scottish labour market has lost a bit of momentum in early 2019 but remains strong, keeping upward pressure on pay.
"With inflation moderating, real incomes continue to improve, a key support for consumers."