Permanent staff placements increase

Both permanent and temporary staff appointments increased in April, with panellists attributing this to greater demand from clients.

Average salaries awarded to staff increased further during the latest survey period, albeit modestly. Meanwhile, temporary contract candidate availability rose, but permanent staff availability remained unchanged.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer - a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions - registered 56.6 in April and signalled a strong improvement in Scotland's labour market conditions. The latest reading was up from 53.8 in March, and was the highest since October 2007.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: "The latest Report on Jobs shows a further improvement in the Scottish labour market. The number of people placed in to permanent positions increased for the seventh consecutive month, while demand for permanent staff rose markedly in April, with recruitment consultants registering a larger number of vacancies. All eight employment sectors registered greater demand for permanent staff in April.

"This month's Report on Jobs provides further evidence of the Scottish economy's recovery from the weather induced slowdown of winter. However, Scotland has just caught up with the UK, despite the Labour Market Barometer reaching a 42-month high."