By Daniel Hunter

The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs showed a marked rise in staff placements during December.

In contrast to the weaker growth trends registered across the UK as a whole, Scotland saw the strongest increases in permanent and temporary appointments in eight and 23 months respectively. Recruiters largely linked this to greater client demand. Concurrently, average pay rose further, with the rates of inflation also quickening since November.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer — a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions — rose from 54.9 to 56.0 in December, its highest reading since May 2011. Above the long-run series average and the equivalent index for the UK as a whole, the Barometer was consistent with a strong improvement in Scotland’s job market at the end of 2012.

"This latest Barometer shows the Scottish labour market improving at its fastest rate since May 2011," Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented.

"The number of people appointed to permanent jobs rose to an eight-month high while temporary job appointments increased at the strongest rate since January 2011. Vacancies for permanent staff rose strongly in the month. These results suggest the Scottish economy has exited the recent period of slowdown and is entering 2013 in growth mode."

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