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Scottish engineering and manufacturing job market contracts

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The impending vote on Scottish independence could be affecting traditionally strong employment sectors such as engineering and manufacturing, according to research by recruitment body APSCo.

The Monthly Hiring Trends report found Scotland was the only region of the UK that saw recruitment for manufacturing and engineering contract (by 10%) year-on-year in 2014. It grew by at least 27% in every other area; the West Midlands showed the strongest performance with an increase of 48%.

Scotland was also the only region to see a fall in recruitment in the arts, media and design sector, down 7% in 2014. In Wales, it grew by as much as 75%.

The report is based on the Treasury's growth forecast for the UK economy and analysis of the professional staffing market. It was compiled in conjunction with Staffing Industry Analysts.

Staffing Industry Analysts executive director of global research John Nurthen told HR magazine the decline in hiring prospects looks "suspiciously coincidental" with the upcoming vote on 18 September.

"It is unfortunate that Scotland seems to be missing out on this boom in vacancies and, with oil and gas such an important part of the Scottish economy, it is particularly telling that local engineering vacancies are dropping at the moment," he said.