IT Jobs Market Outpacing Other Sectors

The number of permanent placements in IT rose at a faster pace in April than the month before, and growth was higher than any other sector, according to the latest Recruitment & Employment Confederation/KPMG Report on Jobs.

Growth of demand was signalled for seven of the eight broad types of permanent staff monitored by the survey in April, but the strongest rate of expansion was recorded for IT.

The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit on behalf of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG. It uses index numbers calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting an improvement, no change or decline. These indices vary between 0 and 100 with a reading of exactly 50.0 signalling no change. Readings above 50 signal a positive change and readings below 50 signal a negative change.

The IT sector showed a year-on-year index increase from 64.6 in April 2010 to 66.4 this time. IT sales was one area where a skills shortage was identified.

Responses from the 400 recruitment and employment consultancies the report is based on showed that the pace of expansion of all temporary/contract staff billings eased to the lowest increase of 2011 so far.

But again, IT and computing had the highest growth index at 63.6 in April. It was only 57.7 in April 2010, and the sector was only number four for growth then. CAD design was an area where there was a skills shorage in the temp market this April.

Respondents linked the weaker overall rise in short-term appointments to "softer demand" from public sector clients. Despite this though overall temp pay rose at the fastest pace in a year.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said, "This month's report shows a clear split developing in the UK labour market. Public sector employment is radically slowing while there is growth in the private sector, confirming that we are now in a two-speed jobs market.

"A number of permanent hires made in IT, construction and engineering suggest that employer confidence on the whole is improving but temporary employment is slowing."

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said, "In many areas of the private sector employers feel confident to hire again on a full time basis, though the picture is very different in the public sector where hiring freezes and cost cutting seems to be the order of the day."

Brown said private sector businesses with a dependency on the public sector are clearly on a "knife edge", as they wait to understand how unfolding government policy will impact on them.

While total demand for all permanent staff continued to rise in April, it slipped from 60.7 in March to 59.7 last month. The temporary staff vacancy index was 57.2 in April, down from 59.8 in March and its lowest level for four months.

Recent data from the Office for National Statistics signalled a weaker year-on-year rise in vacancy numbers during March. The rate of growth eased from 5.5 percent in February to 3.4 percent, the slowest for a year.

According to other research the average IT professional's salary is now £38,946. A report from IT recruitment agency CV Screen said permanent IT salaries rose five percent over the last 12 months, with the average salary being that amount.

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