Growth in placements remains modest as staff availability contracts sharply

15 June 2015

The number of people placed into work in Scotland increased again during May, though the rate of growth remained below the levels seen in the opening quarter of 2015 and throughout 2014. Data showed continued – albeit slower – growth in demand for staff, but a sharp contraction in the availability of candidates to fill vacancies. Meanwhile, staff pay rewards improved, with the latest survey showing marked rises in both permanent starting salaries and temp hourly rates. 

Highlighting an overall improvement in the health of the job market north of the border, the Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer registered above the 50.0 ‘no-change’ mark in May, at 59.6. This was slightly higher than April’s 22-month low of 59.1. The UK as a whole registered a comparatively greater improvement in conditions (index at 62.0), as has been the trend throughout the year so far.

Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: “May’s Barometer was a healthy 59.6 – slightly up from last month. The number of people placed into work rose accompanied by an increase in both permanent and temporary vacancies.  The rate of increase in permanent starting salaries was strong while hourly pay rates for temporary staff increased for the second month in a row.  These results show the Scottish economy recovering some of the growth momentum lost in January this year.”