Scotland’s job market ended 2014 in relatively rude health, according the year’s final Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs. Permanent placements increased at a sharp and accelerated rate, alongside a near-record rise in starting salaries. Demand for staff continued to grow strongly, though candidate availability remained in decline. There were indications of a loss of momentum in the temporary jobs space, however, with billings from contract staff rising at the slowest rate in eight months and hourly wage inflation also easing.
The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer read 63.2 in December, up from November’s 60.1. This latest reading pointed to a marked improvement in the health of Scotland’s labour market, albeit the rate of progress remained slower than seen around the middle of the year. The barometer moved back above the equivalent index for the UK as a whole, which sank to a 13-month low in December.
Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: “December’s Barometer reversed much of the loss in November with the overall reading at 63.2 showing a strong performance in the month. The number of people appointed to jobs rose with particularly strong growth in appointments to permanent jobs. The number of vacancies rose at a faster pace while staring salaries rose at near-record levels. These results provide further evidence that the economic recovery continued at the end of last year and looks set to carry on into 2015.”