Scotland business

Starting salaries 'rising strongly' in Scotland

Payslip Image copyright Thinkstock

Starting pay for new recruits has been rising strongly, according to the latest data on Scotland's labour market.

It found that the numbers available for work had been falling while employers took on more staff.

The Bank of Scotland survey for September saw weaker growth than in the previous three months.

The number of vacancies grew, but at the slowest pace for 11 months.

The labour market barometer remains high by longer-term comparison and remained stronger in September than the equivalent UK index.

Survey responses from more than 100 recruitment consultants in Scottish cities showed that Aberdeen had the fastest rise in placement of work applicants.

Edinburgh saw growth, but at the slowest rate of the cities.

Job placements

Glasgow had the highest growth in pay for permanent new recruits, and Dundee had the fastest rise in pay for those on temporary contracts.

The sectors showing strongest demand for recruits were in health and care work, computing, engineering and construction.

The survey data follows a particularly strong set of employment figures last week from the Office for National Statistics, taking the share of the Scottish workforce seeking jobs during summer down to 5.5%.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at the Bank of Scotland, said: "Starting salary pay rose strongly, reflecting the growing lack of available candidates for vacant positions.

"The barometer is showing almost four years of monthly improvement, resulting in the rate of unemployment in September of 5.5%. The Scottish economic recovery continues."

Shopper numbers

In other economic news from the British Retail Consortium, footfall for Scottish retail grew last month by 2% - while it fell across most other parts of the UK.

Averaged across July to September, Scotland and south-east England were the only parts of the UK to see growth, with Scotland up 2.6%.

Within the 0.9% UK drop in September footfall, compared with the same month last year, shopping centres saw a 2.6% drop, the steepest fall since October last year.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Fashion sales were hardest hit in terms of shopper numbers last month

Passing trade on high streets was down by 0.6%, while out-of-town shopping was up by 0.5%. Fashion sales were hardest hit.

Helen Dickinson, of the British Retail Consortium, said: "To look at the figures initially they seem slightly gloomier than they actually are.

"Despite a dip for the month of 0.9%, largely due to less visits to indoor shopping centres, footfall was up on the 1.1% fall for August which shows that it is going in the right direction.

"As online sales increase, overall we can see how shopping is changing and retailers are adapting.

"The industry is working hard on providing great online shopping experiences for consumers and this too impacts footfall."

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