Demand for Umbrella Company Employees and others contracting in the fields of IT & computing and nursing/medical/care held up well in Scotland last month but the overall growth in vacancies eased slightly on the previous month, the latest Report on Jobs from the Bank of Scotland reveals.

These two sectors also generated the strongest demand for permanent candidates north of the border; however, although overall growth for permanent staff increased robustly, it did so at a slightly slower pace than during the previous month. Demand for temporary/contracting staff returned to the modest rate of growth last seen in March 2013.

Hourly pay rates for temporary/contracting staff increased most rapidly in Dundee, while Edinburgh saw the strongest rise in starting salaries for permanent appointees.

The Bank of Scotland’s Labour Market Barometer, a single-figure snapshot of the overall health of the employment market, stood at 60.6, climbing from February’s score of 59.8. A score of 50 indicates no change on the previous month; therefore, the Scottish labour market remains firmly in growth territory, albeit slightly below the corresponding index for the whole of the UK.

Commenting on the latest survey, the Bank of Scotland’s chief economist, Donald MacRae, said: “Conditions in the Scottish labour market continued to improve in March this year. The number of people appointed to jobs increased, while the number of vacancies grew over the month. The rate of growth in starting salaries for permanent jobs recovered strongly from February’s 15-month low. The Barometer suggests the slowdown in growth in January to March will be reversed in the coming months.”

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