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STUC challenges bank on job market

Bank of Scotland optimistic on employment

A Scottish TUC economist challenged yesterday the latest optimistic view on the labour market issued by the Bank of Scotland.

The bank's Labour Market Barometer for October claimed that recovery in the Scottish economy looked set to continue into 2015.

"The number of people appointed to jobs increased, as did starting salaries," said bank chief economist Donald MacRae.

"A rise in vacancies confirmed business confidence remains high."

But STUC economist Stephen Boyd said that prolonged recession and stagnation meant that "relatively high employment levels are accompanied by very weak pay growth, rising insecurity and hidden unemployment."

Writing in the University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute Quarterly Economic Commentary, Mr Boyd added: "Rapidly improving headline employment and unemployment statistics through 2014 should not be allowed to distract from the profound changes taking place in the Scottish labour market.

"Those groups already disadvantaged within the labour market, especially the young, increasingly struggle to access secure, decent job opportunities."


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