Pay rates were still rising in December for IT staff in interim management positions, despite the market shrinking 11%.
IT interim managers can now command a record £697 a day despite the first market slowdown recorded since 2000.
Interim manager provider Russam GMS surveyed 9,000 managers, revealing an 11% drop in the volume of available work. This is the first recorded slowdown since the company started the surveys in 2000.
Demand for staff is still strong in central and local government, the NHS, education and the not-for-profit sector.
Companies are increasingly seeking experienced managers, the survey found, with managers in their 40s and 50s preferred to those in their 20s and 30s. In June, 65% of younger managers were on an assignment, but this had fallen to 48% in December. This was compared to 52% of those in their 40s who were working in December.
The survey found there was a 4% rise in the number of managers willing to consider a return to permanent work in search of greater job security.
"We believe there will be new opportunities for interim managers emerging out of the recession," said Charles Russam, chairman of Russam GMS.