The Bank of Scotland’s Report on Jobs for February has shown that recruitment in Scotland showed the fastest rise in placements during the month since October.

The report indicated that a general increase in demand from clients has seen a rise in the number of candidates placed in both long-term and temporary work. The bank’s chief economist, Donald MacRae, said that there was also a modest increase in the average permanent salary.

“The number of vacancies for permanent jobs increased to a four-month high,” he said. “The deterioration evident from April last year appears to have been arrested at the beginning of this year.”

Measured against a baseline of 50, the bank’s Labour Market Barometer was measured at 50.4 in January, but rose to 52.4 in February. It is designed to give a single-figure overview of the Scottish labour market, and takes into account demand for staff, employment, availability for work, and pay in the permanent and temporary markets.

The figures showed that Scotland is experiencing faster growth than the UK as a whole, and many leaders are hoping that it will help the country avoid falling into a double-dip recession.

Scottish finance secretary, John Swinney, said that the encouraging recruitment figures must not give way to complacency.

“[The] labour market statistics made clear that we need sustained action in this week’s UK Budget to support economic recovery,” he said. “The Scottish Government is using every lever currently available to secure new investment and create and safeguard jobs in the face of severe cuts from Westminster.”

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