Growth in IT contractor demand relaxed in May

The market for IT professionals who work on a temporary basis showed less growth in May 2015 than any other month since July 2013, according to a new report by a staffing body.

In its latest monthly Report on Jobs, published on Thursday, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) scored demand for temporary IT/Computing workers at 60.3 index points.

Although that means the need for contract IT staff is still growing strongly (as any index figure over 50 signals stronger growth than a month ago), it represents the lowest score for 22 months.

In fact, IT contractors would have to cast their minds back to two years ago next month to recall a quieter time (in terms of demand for their services), when their market stood at 59.6 index points.

Yet back then, in July 2013, their market buzzed with potential openings as 10 technology skills were then tough to source on a contract basis, whereas last month there were just two.

Nonetheless, May’s shortage of Java and Development contractors was reinforced in the permanent market, where these two skills – and eight others including Business Analysis – were also scarce.

REC’s chief executive Kevin Green says candidates skilled in such “in-demand” roles are able to command higher headline pay, thanks to hirers still being willing to “compete for talent.”

“But at the same time, [skills] shortages are a serious threat to long-term sustainability for organisations within both the private and the public sector,” he warned. “It’s imperative that the new government gets to grips with skills shortages because a jobs crisis is looming.”

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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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