Scotland's jobs market 'continues to improve'
Scotland's jobs market continued to improve last month as business confidence remained high, a new report has suggested.
There were sharp increases in permanent placements and salaries in October, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs.
However, growth eased in the temporary jobs market, reaching its slowest level in five months.
The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer also remained high.
The barometer reading was 65.0 - the fourth highest in the survey history - indicating a marked improvement in labour market conditions.
Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said: "The number of people appointed to jobs increased, as did starting salaries.
"A rise in vacancies confirmed business confidence remains high. The recovery in the Scottish economy looks set to continue into 2015."
The report found there was a "further sharp increase" in average starting salaries for permanent staff in Scotland last month, while the pace of growth in hourly pay rates of temporary/contract staff rebounded at the start of the fourth quarter.
Recruitment consultancies also recorded a "sharp and slightly accelerated" increase in the number of people placed in permanent jobs during October.
The strongest rise in permanent job openings was in the IT and computing sector, while the sharpest increase in demand for temporary staff north of the border was in nursing/medical/care.
The availability of candidates for permanent vacancies in Scotland deteriorated further last month, while there was a sharp fall in the number of people available for temporary positions.
Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the figures.
He said: "The Bank of Scotland report shows an improving employment picture for the 48th consecutive month, with the demand for permanent staff appointments increasing in Scotland.
"The report comes at a time when the Office for National Statistics figures published last week show that employment continues to rise and unemployment continues to fall in the Scottish economy.
"In addition, Scotland has the highest employment rate, lowest unemployment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations."
The UK government's Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said: "Today's Bank of Scotland jobs report confirms the UK government's long-term economic plan is working, there are more jobs and more opportunities being created across Scotland.
"This report confirms a continuing rise in the number of job vacancies which shows that Scotland's businesses are continuing to grow in confidence."