Employment stats show job growth continuing, slowly

A new report by the Bank of Scotland shows growth in permanent jobs continuing in Scotland last month, but at the slowest rate for almost two years.

The Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs found increased demand for staff and a continued rise in starting salaries. The most significant rise in demand for permanent and temporary staff was in the medical and care sector, following by IT and computing.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer slipped to a 22-month low of 59.1 in April, down from 60.6 in March.

The figure is measured against a baseline of 50 - numbers above 50 represent an improvement and below a deterioration.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at the Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s labour market continued to improve in the month. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose modestly while the number of vacancies increased in the month. Starting salaries rose sharply and temp pay rates increased.

“These results suggest the Scottish economy continued to grow, albeit at a modest pace, in April.”

Deputy first minister John Swinney welcomed the new report.

He said: “The report comes at a time when the Office for National Statistics figures published last week show that Scotland’s jobs market is performing well across a range of measures.

“They showed that we have the lowest youth unemployment level in seven years, and Scotland currently has the highest employment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations.”

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