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Despite Net demand, job vacancies hit six-year low

Ross Bentley
The number of job opportunities in the IT industry hit a six-year low last year, according to the latest figures from the Computer Weekly/SSP survey.

Ross Bentley

In total, 99,054 IT vacancies were advertised on the pages of the national and trade press compared with 171,152 during 1999 and 248,660 in 1998. However, the latest total is almost double that of 1991-1992.

Despite this drop in the overall number of vacancies, demand for Internet-related skills still shows steady growth. They now occupy the top two positions in the skills league table and for the first time account for six of the top 20 skills.

Generic Internet skills top the table, and Java showed a 20% growth in vacancies. Demand for Java skills is being driven by software houses and the financial sector, while generic Internet expertise is most often required in the media and retail industries.

Other Internet-based skills to demonstrate a rise in demand are HTML, TCP/IP, XML, and Wap.

Meanwhile, demand for Oracle has fallen by half and Windows NT now only heads the table in the manufacturing and public sectors. Advertised vacancies for legacy skills continue to nose-dive, with only 185 Cobol jobs on offer during the last three months of 2000.

Carole Hepburn, director of permanent recruitment at agency Computer People, said this year's wages were a sign of a steady market compared with the short-term, high-level wages being offered by dotcoms last year.

ross.bentley@rbi.co.uk


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