Scottish firms are increasingly turning to short-term staff to fill job vacancies, with the number of permanent appointments falling, according to analysis.
Research by the Royal Bank of Scotland found the hiring of staff on a permanent basis declined for the second straight month in August, marking the first time since January 2017 when there has been a back-to-back fall.
Growth in permanent vacancies eased to the lowest level in more than three-and-a-half years while permanent candidate availability also continued to deteriorate, according to the bank.
IT and computing remained the sector with the highest number of permanent vacancies, while nursing/medical/care was the highest for temporary positions.
Salaries awarded to newly appointed permanent workers did rise slightly during August, although the pace of the increase was the slowest since January 2017.
Sebastian Burnside, Royal Bank of Scotland chief economist, said: “Latest survey data reported a decline in permanent placements for the second month in a row, with the fall accelerating from July.
“Alongside easing demand for permanent staff, this indicates a softening of the Scottish labour market, albeit only moderate, and softer than across the UK as a whole.
“Moreover, data also appeared to highlight firms’ preference towards temporary staff over permanent employees as slower permanent vacancy growth contrasted with strong demand for temporary workers.
“In addition, temporary billings continued to rise with Scotland markedly outperforming the UK as a whole.”