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General election anticipation caused fall in IT hiring

Tech Cities Job Watch suggests general election postponed hiring decisions, causing a 6% dip in advertised roles in Q2

Uncertainty in the run-up to this year's general election caused IT hiring decisions to be postponed, accounting for a 6% decrease in Q2, according to the Tech Cities Job Watch.

The survey, from recruiter Experis, found that the number of IT jobs advertised across all UK cities fell from 59,151 in Q1 to 55,297 in Q2.

Q2 2015 also saw an 11% drop in advertised permanent vacancies, although there was a 3% rise in contractor roles.

Geoff Smith, managing director at Experis Europe, said: “It is likely that uncertainty in the run-up to the general election in May will have caused many organisations to postpone permanent hiring decisions until the election results were known.

“The possibility that this slowdown was only temporary is reflected in our figures post-election, which showed a recruitment uplift in June. This could be an indication of increased business confidence in the new government’s digital agenda, which vows to make Britain the technology centre of Europe and to build a digital economy comparable to Silicon Valley. 

“For the remainder of the year, we expect to see further investment and a return to solid growth in IT recruitment.”

The latest Tech Cities Job Watch report added Leeds to its analysis for the first time. The city was found to have the UK's third highest hiring demand, behind London and Manchester. Manchester kept its lead as the top hiring city outside the capital, despite revealing a 13% fall in the number of positions advertised in the city for Q2.

Smith added: “This quarter’s findings indicate slow but positive growth among tech cities outside the capital, with a 3% increase in the number of roles advertised.

“Leeds, another thriving tech city, not only benefits from strong transport links, but is also quickly becoming home to many large corporates, which are investing heavily in digital programmes and IT projects in the area.”

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But London still paves the way for UK technology growth, said Smith, “and is still responsible for 70% of technology jobs in the country, confirming that the appetite for tech talent in the capital remains strong”.

He added: “Industry reports such as the Lloyds Bank Business Confidence Barometer also suggest that business confidence has risen since the election, potentially triggered by factors such as banks now being more willing to support the small business sector – a critical part of the UK’s technology success.”

Salaries also saw a dip in Q2, with roles in IT security seeing the biggest fall of 4% to £53,733. The top three cities for  salary levels were London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Contractor rates across all cities saw a 1% rise from Q1 to Q2 to average £395 a day.

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