Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Hiring activity in Scotland slows amid steep decline in staff availability

(Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

Momentum in the Scottish labour market slowed last month, a bank has said, with the growth in numbers of people being hired into new full-time roles falling to a 15-month low.

May saw the slowest increase in permanent placements since February 2021, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Report on Jobs, with the growth in temp billings falling to a four-month low.

The slowdown comes amid a steep decline in staff availability, the bank said, which helped push up wages.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist the Edinburgh-based bank, said: “While the loss of hiring momentum was inevitable following the sharp rebounds in activity seen after the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, it is hoped that any slowdown will be limited as overall demand for staff remains robust.

“Scotland’s job market saw a further marked increase in recruitment activity during the latest survey period. However, hiring momentum eased for both permanent and temporary staff to the slowest in 15 and four months respectively, as the supply of staff deteriorated rapidly.”

It is the 17th successive month the number of permanent staff appointments north of the border has increased, with firms telling the bank that increased activity and improved market conditions resulted in more permanent placements.

The rate of growth eased for the second month running to the weakest figure since February 2021.

The increase was slower than the UK-wide figure for the first time in five months.

Recruiters told the bank there was a marked rise in temp billings during May, which they put down to higher demand and projects which had been on hold because of the pandemic being resumed.

But there was a record contraction in permanent staff availability.

Businesses told the bank that skill shortages and a competitive labour market were behind the latest slowdown.

The tight jobs market and increased competition for staff has driven up starting pay, with salaries for new starters rising for the 18th consecutive month in May.

But the pace of wage inflation eased to the slowest since October.

Average hourly pay rates for short-term staff rose last month, extending a run since December 2020.

Panellists told the bank some staff had negotiated higher pay due to the increased cost of living, and despite the rate of inflation accelerating slightly since April it was the second softest rise in 10 months.