Scottish employers are reporting their strongest employment intentions since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, in a key survey.
Subtracting the proportion of Scottish employers expecting to cut jobs from that planning to add positions, a balance of four per cent anticipate an increase in staffing, the latest labour market outlook from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Adecco shows.
This is a dramatic improvement in hiring intentions from that signalled by the survey six months ago, when a balance of 17% of Scottish employers planned to cut jobs.
Nearly half (45%) of Scottish employers indicated they are looking to recruit in the first quarter of 2021, up from 41% six months ago.
Across the UK, sectors that are indicating strong hiring intentions include healthcare, finance and insurance, education and information and communications.
However, CIPD and Adecco noted this optimism “does not extend to sectors that continue to be affected by the social distancing measures, such as hospitality”.
The proportion of Scottish companies planning to make redundancies in the current quarter has fallen sharply to 10%, CIPD and Adecco noted.
Lee Ann Panglea, head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “This is the first time since the onset of the pandemic that there is some cause for optimism across the labour market in Scotland. Fewer organisations are planning redundancies and there has been an uptick in those who intend to hire staff too. However, it is far too soon to rule out a relapse of redundancies in the second half of the year if the UK Government does not extend the furlough scheme to the end of June. It would be disappointing to see the success of the huge level of government support falter at this stage.”