News : Employers Signal Rise in Scottish Workforce
Glasgow, Scotland, March 7, 2016 -- Scottish employers are likely to raise their combined workforce in the coming quarter, with call centre staff in demand in Glasgow and Edinburgh, a survey has signalled.
The report by Manpower shows that, subtracting the proportion expecting to reduce workforce levels from the percentage planning to hire additional staff, a balance of six per cent of Scottish employers anticipated an increase in headcount in the coming quarter.
This Scottish employment outlook" balance is the same as that recorded in Manpower’s last quarterly survey. And it is close to the UK average balance of seven per cent of employers expecting to raise staff numbers.
The positive outlook was recorded in Scotland even though the Aberdeen economy continues to be weighed down by the oil and gas sector’s woes. Manpower highlighted weakness across all sectors of the economy in Aberdeen.
Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower, highlighted demand for call centre staff in the financial services and retail sectors in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
She said: "We are pleased that, after bumping around zero throughout 2015, the Scottish employment outlook remains in firmly positive territory this quarter. Demand for candidates in Scotland’s largest cities is keeping the country’s hiring intentions in the black.
"We’re seeing continued growth in call centre opportunities within financial services companies and retailers based in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We’re also seeing increasing numbers of permanent opportunities for candidates."
Ms White added: "However, recruitment activity is typically on a smaller ad-hoc basis as opposed to high-volume campaigns, and employers are sharpening their focus on productivity improvements."
And she flagged a cautious stance by employers.
Ms White said: "Across [Scotland], employers are still finding themselves challenged by budget restrictions and headcount freezes, and overall we are seeing a certain level of caution in the labour market. Aberdeen remains predictably depressed across all sectors, as the oil price collapse continues to bite."
A separate survey published today by Markit shows permanent placements in the Scottish labour market grew in February at the fastest pace since July 2015.
Meanwhile, starting salaries for staff placed in permanent jobs in Scotland also grew last month at the sharpest rate since last July.
However, in the temporary jobs market, the survey showed billings rising at the slowest rate since April 2015, and an easing of wage inflation.
Manpower also noted that the temporary jobs market in Scotland was slowing down.
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Meanwhile, according to another survey published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Grant Thornton, Scottish companies have recorded respective year-on-year growth in sales volumes and profits of 1.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent in the latest quarter. This represents a slowdown from corresponding year-on-year growth in sales volumes and profits of 3.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent in the ICAEW/Grant Thornton survey for the first quarter of 2015.
Oil and gas sector weakness was cited as a possible factor in this slowdown.
The ICAEW survey shows that business confidence in Scotland, while it rose slightly in the latest quarter, remains "subdued".
ICAEW Scotland president Andrew Hewett said: "Whilst it is always encouraging to see confidence start to stabilise, it should be noted that the increases are slow and slight. The uncertainty associated with the challenges in the oil and gas industry, plus factors such as the forthcoming Holyrood Elections and EU referendum, are bound to influence optimism.
"As such, a degree of caution and pragmatism in various investment areas is only to be expected. Hopefully if confidence continues to increase we will also see increased investment going forward."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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ManpowerGroup is an American multinational human resource consulting firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Manpower provides recruitment and assessment, training and development, career management, outsourcing, and workforce consulting. Founded by Elmer Winter and Aaron Scheinfeld in 1948, the company was acquired by Blue Arrow of Britain in 1987, but became independent again in 1991.
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