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19/08/13 00:01

First Minister welcomes Bank of Scotland jobs report

Commenting on the latest Bank of Scotland report on jobs, First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“The Bank of Scotland report on jobs continues what has been a positive trend in employment and encouraging proof of progress on Scotland’s economy. These figures are the highest recorded since 2007 – that is since before the economic recession.

“It is particularly encouraging that appointment of permanent staff is now growing at its strongest pace in the history of this analysis.

“Scotland has the most competitive business environment anywhere in the UK backed by significant investment in our infrastructure. We have a higher employment rate, lower unemployment rate than the UK, stronger economic growth and youth unemployment figures outperforming the UK rate.

“We are committed to building sustainable economic growth for Scotland and we are adopting a specifically Scottish approach to this. With the full fiscal and economic powers of independence the Scottish Government could do yet more to strengthen our economy and create more jobs.

“All of the key labour market indicators are now outperforming the rest of the UK – rendering ridiculous the claims of George Osborne that the independence debate would damage the Scottish economy. Instead, recovery is now gaining ground in Scotland – but that is no thanks whatsoever to the UK Chancellor whose anti-investment policies have been the single biggest hindrance to the pace of economic growth since 2010."

Notes to editors

Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs – July 2013

Key Points:

  • The BoS Barometer for July reported a marked improvement in Scottish job market conditions. This was the thirty-third consecutive month of improvement in the composite index which stood at 60.3 in July 2013 - its highest reading since September 2007- and signalled a stronger rate of growth than for the UK as a whole (58.5).
  • The Report provides a summary of the Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer based on a survey of over 100 recruitment and employment consultants. An index value above 50 suggests a general improvement in labour market conditions compared to the previous month, whilst a value below 50 suggests deterioration compared to the previous month.

Commentary:

  • July’s rise in the index was driven, in part, by a rise in appointments, with permanent staff appointments increasing for the fifth consecutive month, and at the strongest pace in the ten-and-a-half year survey history. Temporary staff billings also increased, with the rate of growth the weakest since March.
  • Permanent salaries increased for the fifth successive month in July. Temporary hourly pay rates also continued to rise in July, with the latest rise the joint-strongest in the series history.
  • Demand for permanent staff grew strongly in July, although the rate of growth eased slightly from June’s 14-month peak. Demand for temporary staff increased markedly and at the sharpest pace for 31 months.
  • The availability of permanent staff deteriorated at the sharpest pace since June 2007. Availability of temporary staff also fell sharply, with the rate of decline the fastest since December 2004. Availability enters the composite indicator as an inverted measure, as an increase in the availability of workers signals an expansion in the spare labour capacity in the economy.
  • Vacancy increases for permanent staff were reported in seven out of eight employment sectors, with the sharpest rise in the IT & Computing sector. Seven out of eight sectors reported higher numbers of temporary vacancies in July, with the exception of the Executive/Professional sector which saw a reduction from June.