The job market in Scotland is improving, though policy makers have more work to do to make sure the economy is working efficiently, according to Chief Investment Officer Haig Bathgate.
While employment overall is increasing, a report from Bank of Scotland today showed the biggest increase in permanent job vacancies since April 2006. That's particularly significant as many jobs created since the start of the credit crisis have been temporary.
While pay is also increasing, worker productivity is far from optimal – many part-time workers are still unable to find full-time jobs, and those with full-time positions aren't working to maximum capacity. This helps explain Bank of England Governor Mark Carney's recent statement that interest rates would remain low until productivity improves.
Another hangover from the financial crisis in the health of Britain's banks, and one of the casualties, the Cooperative Bank, has this week started a campaign to revamp its scandal-hit image. The country has a keen interest in the bank's success so as to increase competition on the high street for financial services. Increased competition in this industry not only improves the service the public receives but also helps ward off the chance of another bank getting so large that it has to be bailed out again by the government.
Haig, speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland, also commented in advance on the results for British-gas owner Centrica, due on Thursday. You can read a transcript of the interview here.
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