Jobs outlook positive for Scotland as UK struggles

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By Russell Bruce

The October Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs shows further rises in permanent staff appointments and job vacancies in Scotland.

This further improvement in Scottish labour market conditions comes after a week of good news stories for investment and jobs for Scotland that is still to work through into the economy.

By Russell Bruce

The October Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs shows further rises in permanent staff appointments and job vacancies in Scotland.

This further improvement in Scottish labour market conditions comes after a week of good news stories for investment and jobs for Scotland that is still to work through into the economy.

This is the seventh month in a row the Bank of Scotland survey has shown Scotland outperforming the jobs market across the entire UK with the October increase advancing on September’s figures.

In the same seven-month period the all-UK statistics have weakened month on month and have now slipped into negative territory at 49.6 compared with 53.9 in Scotland.

The statistical basis for the analysis in the Report on Jobs is that a figure above 50 represents growth over the previous month.  A figure below 50 represents contraction from the previous month.

In the analysis of permanent staff placements, the Scotland/UK gap widened with Scotland recording 57.9 against an all UK result of 49.7

The report also provides a breakdown across eight employment sectors with six of the eight showing increased demand for permanent staff.  Yet again Computing and IT topped the list with 66.8 in Scotland against 57.2 for the UK as a whole.

Demand for temporary and contract staff increased across all eight sectors of the Scottish labour market.

Commenting on the report Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, said:

“The October results signalled another month of improvement in Scotland’s labour market.  Both the number of people employed and vacancies advertised grew maintaining the lead over the UK.

“However, this improving trend will be challenging to maintain in the face of the global slowdown.  Nevertheless, the Scottish economy is demonstrating resilience in difficult conditions.”

The positive news on Scottish jobs figures comes as Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney called upon UK Chancellor George Osborne to do more in order to support capital building projects.

Mr Swinney urged the UK Chancellor to inject a further £2 billion over three years in order to boost Scotland’s economy and enhance consumer confidence.