Summer lull hits IT contractor jobs growth

The summer lull in hiring that one IT contractor foresaw in June hit the temporary computer staffing market in July, when it registered its lowest index score for 25 months.

Published by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation yesterday, the index of IT contractor demand shows 59.2, the weakest monthly reading since June 2013.

Although this suggests IT contractor demand still increased in July (any score over 50 signals stronger growth than a month ago), the rate of growth is the slowest in over two years.

Hiring managers being away on their summer holiday, or annual leave being taken by senior stakeholders who are responsible for approving funds for external staff, is likely to blame.  

Candidates going on vacation for up to two weeks is also common in July, prompting those managers and stakeholders who are around to postpone their recruitment campaigns.

“In July over two fifths of recruiters reported a fall in the number of people looking for work, the steepest decline seen in eight months,” reflected KPMG, co-author of the REC’s findings.

But it is a “skills shortage” that both organisations put the decline down to – and it “shows no signs of abating” says KPMG’s Bernard Brown, chiming with the belief of an IT recruiter.

“This will have long term implications for their [businesses’] growth plans and potentially impact the wider performance of the UK’s economy,” Mr Brown warned.

Despite the alert, only a single IT skill was scarce in July on a contract basis – Java – which was also scarce on a full-time basis, as were six other skills including UX Design and .Net.

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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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