SCOTTISH recruiters have reported a surge in jobs, with improving prospects for both permanent and temporary work, according to a survey published today.
Glasgow led the way in permanent appointments last month, while Aberdeen recorded the biggest rise in temporary billings.
Almost half of the recruiters polled said they had placed more people in permanent jobs than a month ago.
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Adjusted for seasonal changes, this makes July the most positive month since Markit and Bank of Scotland started the survey in 2003.
Temporary placements were also on the rise last month, at the fastest pace since January, though Scotland remains slightly off the pace of the rest of the UK.
While demand for contract staff has not yet returned to the pre-recession peak, recruiters nevertheless reported the most marked jump in vacancies for seven years during July.
The figures point to further gains in Scotland's jobs market, following the Office for National Statistics' report last week showing that the number of Scots in employment reached a record high of 2,594,000 at the end of June.
"[July] saw survey-record increases in both the number of people appointed to permanent jobs and in starting salaries," said Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland. "These trends should lead to further gains in employment and eventually to an increase in overall earnings growth. The Scottish economy continues to recover strongly."
Markit found that starting salaries were improving, with 34 per cent of recruiters reporting a rise while not one reported a fall, and Scottish employers appear to be raising starting pay more than their counterparts in the rest of the country.
For temporary workers, 23 per cent of recruiters said hourly pay had improved, the best reading since March.
However, the broader outlook for wages is more muted. The Bank of England last week cut its forecast for wage growth to just 1.25 per cent for the year, meaning the average pay rise would be wiped out by price inflation of 1.9 per cent.
Scottish firms were clamouring to hire IT and computer specialists last month, while nursing and medical staff were also in demand. Both sectors were found to have more vacancies in Scotland than the rest of the UK, while demand was less strong north of the border for engineering, executive and secretarial staff.
Even in hotels and catering, the worst-performing industry for permanent jobs last month, there was a "substantial increase in permanent job vacancies" according to Markit.
The rising amount of work brings its own problems. Markit cautioned that the number of candidates available for either permanent or contract work dropped sharply in July, making it more difficult for employers to find the right staff.
Almost half of the recruiters surveyed said the number of candidates fell last month, compared to 14.8 per cent who noted a rise. The decline in candidates, which has been falling since 2012, is a trend felt across the UK.