IT sector sees biggest increase in jobs


IT sector sees biggest increase in jobs

Karl Flinders

The IT sector is experiencing the biggest rises in demand for both permanent and temporary staff as the economy shows signs of recovery.

Demand for permanent and contract staff rose for the fifth month in succession in December, with the number of placements growing at its fastest rate for more than two years.

The latest report from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said demand for permanent and temporary/contract staff increased at the strongest rates for 29 and 22 months respectively.

In December last year the IT sector was second and third best in terms of job opportunities for permanent and contract jobs respectively.

With a score of 50 meaning no change, permanent IT jobs recorded a score of 65.7 compared to 32.8 a year ago. Contract jobs recorded 58.5 in the study compared to 35.1 last year.

The report also revealed that the availability of candidates also increased from the previous month. Salaries for permanent workers increased for the second month running at the fastest rate for 18 months.

But hourly rates of pay for contract workers fell for a 15th successive month, but the rate was marginal and the smallest in the 15 month period.

Kevin Green, CEO at the REC, said 2010 is showing signs of recovery and UK jobs are increasing.

"Temporary and contract placements also rose at the sharpest pace for 30 months, which underlines the crucial role that flexible working models will play in helping job-seekers back into work."

Green said that the jobs market will remain extremely competitive.

Bernard Brown, head of business services at KPMG, warned that public sector spending cuts could dampen the recovery.

"The prospect of possibly extensive public sector job cuts in the second half of 2010 casts a long shadow over everything. The jobs market has been cushioned in recent years by continued public sector expansion. If this is put into reverse post-election, it could have a significant effect on employment figures."

Key points of the report

• Growth of permanent staff placements fastest since July 2007.

• Temporary/contract staff billings rose at sharpest pace for 30 months.

• Further increase in permanent staff salaries.

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