Scottish jobs market sees 'strong growth'

Job centre exterior The latest survey suggested a rise in vacancies, especially in the permanent jobs market

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Scotland's labour market was lifted last month by the strongest growth in permanent placements since April, according to a survey of recruitment agencies.

The Bank of Scotland report on jobs indicated "strong" rises in both permanent and temp staff appointments.

The bank said the increases generally reflected greater client demand.

The survey also suggested a rise in vacancies, particularly in the permanent jobs market.

Edinburgh-based recruitment firms continued to report the strongest increase in permanent appointments, while recruiters in Dundee saw the fastest rise in temp staff billings.

The biggest shortages in both permanent and temporary candidate availability were posted in Dundee.

Permanent salaries increased for the second month running, while temp hourly pay rates also rose solidly.

'Underemployment' probe launched

The Scottish Parliament's economy committee has launched an inquiry into why people end up doing jobs for which they are overqualified.

Committee convener, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, said there was concern that jobs figures were masking a more complicated picture, with underemployment on an upward trend.

MSPs want to know which groups of people are most affected and whether policies can be targeted to address the problem.

Meanwhile, permanent vacancies increased in seven sectors in November, with IT and Computing posting the strongest monthly rise.

Blue Collar was the only sector to see a reduction in available jobs - reversing an increase in October.

The report follows official figures released last week which showed a substantial fall in both unemployment and employment numbers in Scotland in the latest quarterly period.

Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: "Despite the economic slowdown employers continue to hire, suggesting a rising trend in business confidence."

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