Scotland's labour market is "less buoyant" ahead of the nation's independence referendum as some employers hold back on hiring until they know the result of the crunch vote, which polls suggest there is little difference in support for 'Yes' and 'No' votes.
In its Employment Outlook Survey looking ahead to the fourth quarter of 2014, ManpowerGroup Solutions said Scottish employers saw a six point fall in the measure for their confidence in hiring plans during the final three months of the year, to a balance of +3%.
There are several unresolved economic questions about the nature of an independent Scotland if the Yes campaign wins the referendum on 18 September, such as what the financial regulatory regime will look like and what currency will be used.
Several major firms operating from Scotland, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and energy giant SSE, have warned that a break-up of the UK would have a negative impact on their businesses.
Two surveys in September of Scots' voting intentions show a sudden narrowing between the pro and anti-independence contingents, from a position of clear support for the latter in earlier months. A YouGov poll recorded 51% support for yes, while a TNS survey put it at level-pegging between the two camps.
James Hick, managing director of ManpowerGroup, said that Scotland's labour market "is less buoyant as we edge closer to the referendum".
"This could be due to the hesitance of employers to take on staff while there is a big question mark hanging over Scotland's future," he said.
"However, the decline could also be down to the short-term nature of some of the recent hiring we've seen, fulfilling the demands of Scotland's Summer of Sport.
"Major events like the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles have required large numbers of temporary staff to make them run smoothly, especially in distribution and catering.
"It looks like the booming temporary jobs market may have left Scotland at the same time as the Commonwealth Games baton."