Job losses slow in September but ‘challenges ahead’ – report

Data showed the loss of permanent employment eased last month.

Job losses slow in September but ‘challenges ahead’ – report Getty Images

The loss of permanent jobs across Scotland slowed down over September, according to a report.

Data from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scottish Labour Market Report showed the loss of permanent employment eased over September.

It saw the softest fall in numbers in the last eight months.

There were reports that some companies had resumed hiring as firms reopened and expanded their capacity following an easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

The continual downward trend seen in Scotland is in contrast with the rest of the UK, which has seen a rise in jobs for the second month in a row.

According to panellists, redundancies linked to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures had led to greater numbers of people looking for work.

As has been the case in each month since April, the availability of temporary workers in Scotland rose during September.

Pay trends have largely stabilised for salaried workers, however, average hourly paid rates for temporary employees was found to have fallen.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “September survey data highlighted a slightly improved picture for the Scottish labour market.

“Permanent placements declined at a much softer rate, whilst temporary billings returned to growth and expanded at the quickest pace for a year.

“Although an improvement on the massive drop in hiring during the height of the pandemic, we have not yet seen a recovery by any means, and stricter lockdown measures amid a resurgence of the virus poses a risk to the outlook.

“Moreover, the UK furlough scheme ends in less than a month, superseded by the less extensive Job Support Scheme.

“Consequently, there will be further challenges ahead for the Scottish labour market, with the potential for any steps towards a recovery to be lost if job cutting intensifies.”

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