Caution and cooling in the jobs market?

Posted 16/3/2023 by Benet Hanley

The past month’s Royal Bank of Scotland report may give us an interesting insight into business and people’s confidence!

Three key indicators in the most recent RBoS report tells shows caution and cooling in the jobs market. But is this temporary or is it a sign of more to come?

  1. Permanent placements fall for fourth time in five months
  2. Steep downturn in candidate availability amid tight labour market conditions and skills shortages
  3. Growth in permanent starters’ salaries was weaker than the trend seen over the past two years.

The Tech industry continues to show continued strength in permanent jobs growth, 2nd only to nursing/medical/care sector, however this growth is at the softest rate for 2 years. I suspect that we will continue to see a more cautious approach but that hiring for key skills will continue. Possibly a time for companies to reflect and develop junior staff and build from within.

Could the pressure on pay be starting to ease with the pressure on salaries seemingly weakening? I suspect not, in some areas there is still clear pressure. The rate of pay growth in Scotland outstripped that seen across the UK as a whole for the fifth successive month.

Hesitancy to hire and reduced availability of staff all points to reduced confidence. Or is this just a pause for breath whilst people and decision makers survey the world before regaining confidence, trust and optimism. I hope so, and in fact I expect a slightly stronger jobs market in the 2nd quarter of 2023.


Enigma People Solutions specialises in the recruitment of specialist roles in the deep tech sector.

We also offer a complimentary recruitment review. If you have tried the following but have still failed to attract the right candidates, we can help you:

  • If you’ve advertised the position but didn’t attract the applicants that you require
  • You’ve asked your team for referrals 
  • Talked to people in your own network
  • No internal candidates have applied
  • Advertised on job sites and your own website

If that describes your experience, then you need a new approach to your recruitment. Email us or call 0131 510 8150 to find out more and to book your complimentary recruitment review now. 

Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry.


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