PAYE umbrella contractors working south of the border may well be looking at their Scottish counterparts with a hint of envy. The Bank of Scotland’s latest Report on Jobs reveals a strong surge in demand for both temporary and permanent staff during July.

Umbrella companies supplying experts in the IT skills market did especially well, with Scottish firms seeking computer professionals most intensively. Permanent vacancies for workers in the engineering and construction industries also rose strongly, as did those for workers in nursing, medicine and care.

The Bank of Scotland’s Chief Economist, however, sounded a cautionary note. Progress was likely to be more difficult in the coming months, largely because of the continuing crisis in the eurozone, he said, adding:

“The number of both long and short-term job vacancies increased markedly in July, with the rate of vacancy growth rising to a three-month high. However, it will be difficult to maintain improvement, given the concerns over sovereign debt in the eurozone and slowing growth in the US.”

Even so, the expansion of the Scottish labour market recorded in July marks the fourth consecutive month that it has outpaced that of the UK as a whole. Scotland’s growth is indexed by the Bank of Scotland as 55, whereas that of the UK remains at an underwhelming 51.9.

The fastest rate of increase for both temporary and permanent workers was seen in Aberdeen, largely due to its resurgent gas and oil industry. Edinburgh saw the fastest wage rises, while Dundee’s recruitment agencies reported the biggest skills shortages.

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