Vacancies ‘near-record levels as candidate numbers plummet’

Candidates for temporary jobs have decreased for a seventh month, a Royal Bank of Scotland report found.

Vacancies ‘near-record levels as candidate numbers plummet’ iStock

Job vacancies are nearing an all-time high and Scotland has seen a surge in employment despite warnings that the number of candidates has “plummeted”.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s report on jobs recorded the third sharpest growth of new appointments on record, with similarly high demand for workers.

But the survey of businesses in September found the second fasted decline of applicants for permanent jobs since records began in 2008, with firms citing Brexit and pandemic uncertainty as the key factors.

Candidates for temporary jobs decreased for the seventh consecutive month, although the decline slowed from the substantial drop in August, according to the bank’s report.

Starting salaries for people in new jobs and the hourly rate for temporary workers both rose once again, although so did the rate of inflation.

The industries with the highest rate of vacancies were the IT and computing sectors, followed by engineering and construction, and then the accountancy and financial sectors.

Meanwhile, the hotel and catering industries had the fasted rise in demand for temporary staff, followed by IT and computing.

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland saw a further rapid uplift in hiring activity during September, with the rates of increase in both permanent placements and temp billings easing only slightly from the all-time records seen in August.

“This rounded off a third quarter of unprecedented hiring activity as the Scottish labour market continues to rebound.

“Meanwhile, vacancies for both short-term and permanent staff rose at near-record rates during September, but recruiters widely reported skills shortages as the supply of candidates continued to plummet.

“These shortages are likely to become more pronounced over the coming months and may pose some significant challenges for companies seeking to fill roles and expand their operations.”

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