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DEMAND FOR TEMPORARY STAFF INCREASED AT FASTEST PACE SINCE OCTOBER 2007

DEMAND FOR TEMPORARY STAFF INCREASED AT FASTEST PACE SINCE OCTOBER 2007

Fastest permanent and temporary appointments growth in Aberdeen and Edinburgh
Number of people available for permanent work fell for first time since March 2008
Labour market Barometer at eight-month high

The Scottish labour market improved further in December, led by faster vacancy growth according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs. Consequently, the number of people placed in both permanent and temporary job roles increased during the latest survey period, whilst candidate availability tightened since November.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions registered 52.6 in December, up from Novembers figure of 50.9. The Barometer has now posted above the 50.0 no-change level for two consecutive months and suggested conditions within the Scottish labour market improved at a solid pace.

Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer

Scot UK*
Nov09 49.6 52.8
Dec 51.6 54.6
Jan'10 52.0 54.9
Feb 52.9 56.3
Mar 54.2 56.5
Apr 54.3 56.8
May 52.3 56.4
Jun 49.4 55.8
Jul 48.1 56.1
Aug 47.9 54.9
Sep 46.8 52.8
Oct 48.4 52.1
Nov 50.9 51.9
Dec 52.6 53.2

50 nochange on previous month.
*KPMG/REC Report onJobs

Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented:
The turnaround in the Scottish labour market first identified in October continues, led by faster vacancy growth. Having posted above the 50.0 no-change level for two consecutive months, the Barometer now sits at an eight month high and is almost level with the UK.

"The number of people placed into permanent positions rose at a solid rate for the third successive month, while demand for permanent staff in December rose at the fastest pace in seven months. All eight employment sectors registered vacancy growth in December, with the IT and Computing sector recording the fastest rate of increase and a six-month high. However, the number of people seeking permanent employment fell for the first time since March 2008. Further improvement in the Scottish labour market in 2011 is likely to be muted.

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