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Job creation in Scotland accelerated last month, as demand for temporary staff rose at the fastest rate since October 2007.
The employment market was strongest in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, data from the Bank of Scotland implies, as both short-term and permanent appointments grew rapidly in the two major cities.
Chief economist at the group Donald MasRae commented: "The number of people placed into permanent positions rose at a solid rate for the third successive month, while demand for permanent staff in December rose at the fastest pace in seven months."
A Labour Market Barometer devised by the lender stood at 52.6 last month, up from 50.9 in November, taking it to its highest level since last spring.
Individuals looking for work in Scotland could find their chances are improving, as a smaller number of applicants are competing for available positions.
Those working in IT and computing were highest in demand, with hotel and catering staff coming in second, while engineering and nursing staff were also important in terms of permanent job placements.
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