The monthly Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG has signalled a further weakening of the UK job market.
Permanent placements, including those in the IT sector, fell at their sharpest rate since November 2001, and temporary billings declined at a survey-record pace.
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The report said declining demand for staff and rising candidate availability had dampened pay pressures, with salary growth the weakest for more than five years.
Only the health sector saw a greater demand for both permanent and temporary staff in August when compared to the same month last year.
The data, drawn from 400 recruitment consultancies, showed that there were no IT skills in short supply in August, as far as the recruiters were concerned.
The only shortage of skills on the temporary side in the IT sector were CNC programmers for machine tooling.
Although the overall demand for IT staff was down on last year, in the permanent sector, the level of demand for IT staff was third out of eight categories this year - last year it was fifth.
In the temporary sector, demand for IT staff slipped from third last year to fifth this year.
Alan Nolan, director at KPMG, said, "The slide in the UK economy continues to hit the jobs market hard, with yet another sharp drop in recruitment.
"UK employers are continuing to control payroll costs through redundancies, and by refusing to take advantage of a growing but increasingly unused pool of skilled labour. These workers are starting to drift abroad in search of employment, and there is a risk that when the market turns, the UK will be left behind by a skills shortage."