Two reports point to continuing growth...

Scots salaries rise as firms find it harder to fill vacancies

SalariesCompanies are finding it more difficult to fill vacancies and are being forced to pay new recruits almost record starting salaries, says a report from Bank of Scotland.

Its positive outlook on jobs comes as the EY Item Club says the UK economy will benefit from the slump in the oil price.

According to the Bank of Scotland, the continued tightening of the labour market meant more permanent jobs were created as demand for staff grew and candidates became harder to find.

The bank said its Labour Market Barometer pointed to a marked improvement in the health of Scotland’s labour market which is in “rude health”, although the rate of progress was slower than seen in the middle of the year.

The biggest increase in permanent job openings  was in IT & Computing, followed by Executive & Professional.

Scottish recruiters said the strongest increase in demand for temporary staff was in Nursing and medical care.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “The number of people appointed to jobs rose, with particularly strong growth in appointments to permanent jobs.

“The number of vacancies rose at a faster pace while staring salaries rose at near-record levels.  These results provide further evidence that the economic recovery continued at the end of last year and looks set to carry on into 2015.”

Finance secretary John Swinney said: “We welcome this further evidence of a strengthening labour market in Scotland, with a stronger result than for the UK as a whole.

“The Bank of Scotland report shows an improving employment picture for the 50th consecutive month with the demand for permanent staff increasing in Scotland.”

“The report comes at a time when the Scottish labour market is performing well across a range of measures. For instance, Scotland currently has the highest employment rate, lowest unemployment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations”

A report from the Ernst & Young Item Club echoes recent claims that the fall in the oil price will be good for the UK economy and will revive activity when it seemed to be losing momentum.

The Item Club expects growth to accelerate to 2.9% this year, after 2.6% growth last year.

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