Still no Xmas slowdown in IT contractor demand

Demand for IT contractors increased over the four weeks of November, continuing to defy the seasonal Christmas slowdown and positioning it higher than much of the summer.

In their latest monthly Report on Jobs, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation scored IT contractor demand at 53.0, higher than both October (52.4) and September (52.1). It is also up on June (51.9) and July (51.6).

While the gains in IT contractor billings over the last four weeks were not enough to unseat August as the hottest month this year, they were sufficient to bring the temporary IT jobs market out of the red, as last November it also stood at 53.0.

By contrast, and on the same annual basis, the permanent IT jobs market is still shrinking, despite last month seeing “employer confidence…bouncing back” amid anecdotal reports of “businesses feeling more encouraged” to take on staff full-time.

Nevertheless, adds the REC’s report, “the good news” - for the labour market as a whole - “must be seen in the context of a fragile economy that remains susceptible to future shocks.”

Meanwhile, skills shortages in the IT jobs market persist. The report says 'General IT' and 'Development' skills are hard to source – both for temporary and full-time roles. Java, .NET and ASP are also scarce on a permanent basis.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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