SCOTTISH employers signalled greater confidence over their hiring intentions for the next quarter compared with the last time they were quizzed, a major survey has shown, writes Scott Wright.

However, confidence levels varied across sectors and cities, according to the latest Employment Outlook Survey from Manpower Group.

The survey gave a positive reading of six per cent when employers were asked whether they intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter, with the public sector moving into positive territory for the first time in more than a year. This compares with plus three per cent at the last survey.

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The net employment outlook is calculated by subtracting those employers with plans to reduce staffing from those who intend to hire.

The survey put hiring intentions in the public sector up four points at two per cent, which Manpower notes follows a General Election result seen in part as a “rejection of austerity”.

Elsewhere, the report found large numbers of applicants to call centres. But while candidates with engineering skills were prized by employers, companies faced difficulties finding staff with the skills they need.

The market was buoyant in Glasgow and Edinburgh but less so in Aberdeen, which has been badly hit by the oil and gas sector downturn.