Demand for skilled temporary workers is in rude health north of the border, with the latest Report on Jobs from the Bank of Scotland revealing that billings hit a two-year high in January 2013, rising at the fastest rate in eight months.
Permanent vacancies also rose steadily during January but at the slowest pace in four months. Core contractor disciplines such as IT and engineering and construction enjoyed vigorous demand, with temporary and permanent billings for both sectors leading the demand league tables. These would appear to be encouraging trends for Umbrella Company Employees specialising in these areas.
The Bank of Scotland’s Labour Marker Barometer – a composite measure of temp and permanent pay rates, demand for staff, candidate availability and employment – revealed a firm improvement in the conditions in the Scottish labour market at the start of 2013. At 53.9, it was comfortably above its long-run series average but was the lowest recorded since October, falling back from December’s score of 56.
Even so, the Scottish Barometer score remained above that for the UK as a whole, although the latter also signalled an improvement in job market conditions in January.
Donald MacRae, the Bank of Scotland’s chief economist, said: “January’s Barometer signalled a continuing improvement in Scottish job market conditions. The number of people placed into permanent jobs remained strong, while vacancies for both permanent and temporary staff grew in the month. Demand for permanent staff was highest in engineering and construction, suggesting a modest pick-up in activity in this crucial sector in the coming spring. These results reinforce the hope that the Scottish economy enjoyed moderate growth in January 2013.”