Feb 20 2012
The job market showed a slight improvement last month following declines at the end of last year, according to a Bank of Scotland report.
The bank's Report of Jobs showed that both permanent and temporary staff placements increased in January.
Recruitment agencies reported a marginal rise in demand for new staff but average salaries for permanent employees fell for the first time in 13 months.
The bank's Labour Market Barometer posted 50.4 in January, up slightly from 50.3 in December. The figure is measured against a baseline of 50.
The barometer is designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions and measures demand for staff, employment, availability for work, and pay in the permanent and temporary markets.
Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "The Scottish labour market showed a small but important improvement in January.
"Despite slowing growth in the Eurozone and the UK, the number of people placed into permanent jobs increased after December's decline while the number of vacancies for permanent staff was broadly unchanged from the end of last year. This latest barometer suggests the Scottish economy is struggling to maintain growth momentum in challenging economic conditions."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The report shows a modest improvement in labour market conditions in Scotland in January - the 15th consecutive month of reported improvement.
"However, it is clear that we need sustained action to support Scotland's economic recovery. The Scottish Government has delivered a budget for growth which boosts public sector capital investment, takes action to tackle unemployment and in particular youth unemployment, and enhances economic security.
"We are using every lever currently available to us to secure new investment and create and safeguard jobs in the face of severe cuts from Westminster. We need the UK Government to follow suit and implement a 'Plan MacB' approach for the UK economy - increasing capital investment, securing consumer confidence and ensuring that businesses have access to finance to create the conditions necessary for recovery."