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Applicants fall

Wage demands spike as vacancies near all-time high

Employment law

Candidates are pushing up salary demands as vacancies rise

Job vacancies continue to soar amid a growing shortage of candidates, forcing up wage demands across the economy.

The latest data reveals the second fastest decline of applicants for permanent jobs since records began in 2008, with firms citing Brexit and pandemic uncertainty as the key factors.

Candidates for temporary jobs fell for the seventh consecutive month, although the decline slowed from the substantial drop in August.

As a result, pay pressures intensified, with the rate of starters’ salary inflation hitting a fresh survey record.

The industries with the highest rate of vacancies were the IT and computing sectors, followed by engineering and construction.

The hotel and catering industries had the fastest rise in demand for temporary staff, followed by IT and computing.

The survey, by Royal Bank of Scotland data, was carried out ahead of the ending of the furlough scheme on 30 September which has supported about a million workers across the UK.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at RBS, commented: “Scotland saw a further rapid uplift in hiring activity during September, with the rates of increase in both permanent placements and temp billings easing only slightly from the all-time records seen in August.

“Meanwhile, vacancies for both short-term and permanent staff rose at near-record rates during September, but recruiters widely reported skills shortages as the supply of candidates continued to plummet.”

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