The recovery in Scotland’s labour market continued into the second half of 2015, though there were signs of the upturn slowing, the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs showed. July saw both a rise in demand for staff and an increase in average starting salaries, but in each case the rates of improvement eased and were well below the highs reached one year ago. That said, the latest increase in permanent appointments was the fastest since February.
At 58.2 in July, the headline Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer remained well above the 50.0 ‘no-change’ level, pointing to a further improvement in overall labour market conditions north of the border. However, the latest reading was the lowest since May 2013, and well below last July’s survey-record high of 67.3. Concurrently, the equivalent UK index eased a six-month low of 61.1 at the start of the third quarter.
Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: “Scotland’s labour market continued to improve in July. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose in the month but the number of vacancies for permanent jobs increased at the slowest pace in just over two years. Salary inflation remained solid although slowing to a five-month low. These results show an economy demonstrating both confidence and growth in the second half of 2015.”