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SCOTLANDS LABOUR MARKET RECOVERY CONTINUED IN APRIL

SCOTLANDS LABOUR MARKET RECOVERY CONTINUED IN APRIL

Sharpest rise in demand for permanent staff in over two-and-a-half years
Appointments to permanent jobs increased for seventh consecutive month
Edinburgh reported fastest rises in both permanent and temp pay rates

The recovery in Scotland's labour market continued in April, with both appointments and wage inflation on the rise, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.

Staff appointments in both the permanent and temporary sectors rose at strong rates, while vacancy and pay growth both accelerated. However, the number of candidates available to take up positions continued to climb in both the long-term and short-term jobs markets, a clear sign of continued labour market slack.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions highlighted the generally improving trend, posting the highest reading since the start of 2008. Nevertheless, at 54.3, from 54.2, the barometer signalled a pace of improvement that was below that seen across the UK as a whole, as has been the case in each of the past fourteen months.

Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented:
The April report has recorded the sharpest rise in demand for permanent staff in over two and a half years, which is further evidence of the recovery in the Scottish economy. Appointments to permanent jobs increased for the seventh consecutive month and vacancies for permanent jobs increased for the fifth month in a row, which is very encouraging. The Labour Market Barometer shows labour market conditions lagging slightly behind the UK, reflecting Scotlands later exit from recession.
Regional analysis
Extending the current sequence to seven successive months, Edinburgh-based employment agencies reported the strongest rises in both permanent and temporary employment in April.
This trend was reflected in pay awards, with recruitment consultants operating in Edinburgh reporting the fastest rises in both permanent and temp pay rates.
Glasgow-based agencies registered the strongest monthly increase in candidate availability during the latest survey period.

Wages and salaries
Average starting salaries awarded to successful permanent candidates in Scotland rose for the third consecutive month in April. Moreover, the monthly rise was the strongest since September 2008.
Employment consultants operating in Scotland registered the strongest monthly rise in hourly temp pay rates since May 2008 in April.

Employment
Firms operating in Scotlands recruitment sector posted another strong rise in the number of candidates placed in permanent job roles during April, thereby extending the current period of rising appointments to seven months.
A Marked rise in the number of workers placed in temporary job roles by Scottish recruitment consultants was also recorded. Although the pace of increase slowed since March, it remained considerable and well above that recorded in the permanent sector.

Vacancies
Vacancies in the Scottish permanent jobs market increased for the fifth month in a row in April. Furthermore, the pace of expansion accelerated to the highest since September 2007.
Latest data signalled another improvement in demand for temporary workers in the Scottish labour market. Moreover, the pace of increase was the sharpest since July 2008.

Availability
April data pointed to a solid rise in the number of candidates available to fill permanent job roles in Scotland. Long-term candidate growth has now been recorded for twenty-five straight months.
The current sequence of rising candidate availability in the temporary jobs market extended to a twenty-second successive month in April.

Sectors
Broken down by category, the rise in demand for permanent staff in Scotland was broad-based, with seven of the eight monitored employment categories recording higher vacancy numbers. The strongest rise was registered in the IT & Computing sector, followed by Executive & Professional.
Temporary vacancy growth was also recorded in seven of the eight monitored categories. As in the permanent sector, IT & Computing workers saw the strongest monthly rise in vacancies.

Permanent Staff Temporary/Contract Staff
1 IT & Computing 1 IT & Computing
2 Executive & Professional 2 Engineering & Construction
3 Engineering & Construction 3 Secretarial & Clerical
4 Accounts & Financial 4 Blue Collar
5 Nursing/Medical/Care 5 Executive & Professional
6 Hotel & Catering 6 Accounts & Financial
7 Secretarial & Clerical 7 Nursing/Medical/Care
8 Blue Collar 8 Hotel & Catering

(Ranked by strength of demand in Scotland in April 2010)

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