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IT staff in demand again as recession fades

Wednesday 12 May 2010 by

The IT industry is experiencing record demand for permanent staff, according to the latest monthly Report on Jobs compiled by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

The report is based on figures calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting an improvement, no change or a decline on the previous month. The indices vary between 0 and 100, and a reading of exactly 50 signals no change on the month before.

Figures for the IT industry show that demand for workers in permanent employment rose from a value of 32.2 at the start of 2009 to 67.7 in January this year, the highest figure recorded for the industry since the reports began in 2002.

Temporary contracts have continued to rise as well, climbing from just 31.5 in January 2009 to 58.7 at the start of this year.

The figures will offer a boost for the IT industry, especially as the overall trend for full-time and temporary employment has showed a decline since December. It can also be seen as a further indication that the sector is pulling clear of recession.

Jeff Brooks, chairman of the REC's technology sector, said that the group had seen a big rise in advertising spend for IT jobs in the third quarter of 2009, so the figures are not surprising.

"Last January's figures were very low as employment was frozen or staff were let go. Now we are seeing a marked rise in permanent contracts, especially in areas like banking and insurance, as firms understand the importance of investing in IT," he said.

Brooks also said that, although the majority of placements are in the commercial sector, he is confident that public sector IT will not continue to suffer, as many have predicted.

"There is concern that IT budgets could be cut after the election, but we are confident that any future government will see that investment in IT staff and systems at both government and local council levels can provide efficiency savings and productivity gains," he added.

Brooks noted too that, with the Labour and Conservative parties already outlining their plans for Britain's digital future, it is clearly understood that investment in IT is integral to the future of the UK economy.

Written by Dan Worth - Article first published on www.computing.co.uk