Demand for IT staff up as jobs market hits a high

Demand for IT staff has risen for the third successive month, and at the fastest rate since February 2001, according to the...

Demand for IT staff has risen for the third successive month, and at the fastest rate since February 2001, according to the monthly Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Deloitte.

The rise in the number of IT vacancies is in line with a general upturn in the jobs market. The report found that the number of people placed into permanent jobs by recruitment consultancies in September rose for the fourth successive month, leading staff appointments across all industry sectors to hit a two-and-a-half year high.

The report found that rising workloads and improved business confidence were the main factors underlying strengthening demand for staff. Demand rose markedly for all types of employees except temporary executive/ professional staff, which continued to register a marginal decline.

Further evidence of rising demand for staff was highlighted by an increase in national press recruitment advertising for the second successive month in August.

Commenting on the findings, Brett Walsh, head of UK human capital at Deloitte, was optimistic that the study reflected an improvement in economic prospects for UK employers.

"The Report on Jobs provides welcome news that employment growth is strengthening as the economic recovery in the UK gathers pace and shows signs of greater sustainability," he said.

"However, with the battle for talent clearly picking up, firms are already finding pockets of skill shortages which, if sustained, will add to recruitment difficulties and exert upward pressure on wages and salaries over the coming months."

The report found that strong demand for staff, coupled with skills shortages in some fields, was reported by consultancies to have placed upward pressure on pay rates in September.

The rate of increase of salaries awarded to people placed in permanent jobs remained modest but nonetheless was the fastest seen since June 2002.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation Report on Jobs was based on responses from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

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