More IT contractors get an inflation-busting pay rise

Project managers, data analysts and system architects who work on a contract basis have joined the list of freelance IT workers who have this year pocketed an inflation-busting pay rise.

In its index of rates, IQNdex found that the highest premium (of £4.73 an hour) went to contractors who manage IT projects, ahead of the analysts and architects who also netted above-inflation increases (of 6%).

But such upward revisions represent the only “bright spots” for temporary IT staff, because the average hourly rate across all clerical and professional IT contract roles is down, the index authors said.

In fact, IQNavigator this week said that its measure of hourly rates paid for temporary IT roles, through recruitment agencies and by large enterprises, has dipped 3.3 points compared with the same time last year.

Strong availability of IT personnel set against the finite pool of jobs available - combined with inflation tailing off since December 2011 - was blamed for the downward pay trend. The Agencies Workers Regulations were also cited.

“The [hourly] rates paid for professional, clerical and IT temporary staff in the UK have fallen despite the signs of economic recovery and higher employment,” IQN said.

Yet the group’s chief executive, John Martin, doesn’t think less pay for IT contractors equates to less demand for their services, even if the economic uncertainty abates.

He said: “As the economic climate improves, employers will likely shift more of their hiring toward permanent jobs, but it also seems likely that increased reliance on part-time and temporary [staff] will be a more prominent component of the total workforce solution.”

The annual IQNdex is based on data taken from the group’s Software as a Service application, said to be used by leading global companies to manage and remunerate their temporary workforces.

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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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