IT job market struggles despite hope in other sectors


IT job market struggles despite hope in other sectors

Rebecca Thomson

The UK jobs market as a whole is showing signs of improvement, but figures for the IT market are mixed, according to the KPMG and Recruitment Employment Confederation report on jobs.

Demand for staff declined at an overall slower rate last month than August 2008. Temporary IT jobs reflected this trend, but permanent jobs did not.

The report uses indices to show whether demand is growing - a number above 50 indicates demand is stronger than a month ago, a number below 50 indicates it is weaker.

The figure for permanent jobs for August is 44.8, indicating a drop in demand compared with July. The figure for August 2008 was 46.4, which gives less cause for hope than many other sectors which saw slower rates of decline this year.

Temporary IT jobs saw a figure of 46.6 in August, which means a drop in demand from the month before, but is still an increase on last August's figure of 44.5.

Bernard Brown, head of business services at KPMG, said, "This is the first time we have seen really positive news for the UK jobs market in 17 months. However, it is too early to speculate whether this signals the end of the recession."

The coming months will be crucial for the IT jobs market, as the public sector continues to feel the effects of the financial crisis. Brown said, "One important factor to watch over the coming months will be how the public sector is coping with the financial and economic crisis. Given that employment costs are a substantial element of public sector spending, you would expect significant pressure on those costs going forward. This is likely to have a significant impact on the UK jobs market."

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