The jobs market showed a further improvement last month amid the fastest rise in permanent placements since October, according to a report.

An increase in the number of candidates placed in long-term and temporary work was found, with growth faster than that reported across the UK overall.

The Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs revealed companies generally attributed the rise in staff placements to greater client demand.

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A modest increase in average permanent salaries was also reported.

Donald MacRae, the bank's chief economist, said: "Scotland's labour market showed an important improvement in February.

"Not only did the number of people placed into jobs rise, but salaries for permanent jobs increased at a modest rate.

"The number of vacancies for permanent jobs increased to a four-month high. The deterioration evident from April last year appears to have been arrested at the beginning of this year."

The bank's Labour Market Barometer posted 52.4 in February, up from 50.4 in January. The figure is measured against a baseline of 50.

The barometer is designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of labour market conditions and measures demand for staff, employment, availability for work, and pay in the permanent and temporary markets.

Mr MacRae added: "This latest barometer reading suggests the Scottish economy is continuing a slow recovery from recession rather than lapsing back into recession."

The report, compiled by Markit, is based on a monthly survey.