Growth in IT contractor demand recovers

Consecutive months of growth in demand for IT contractors slowing came to an end in May, in the first sign that “uncertainty” over the EU may be starting to favour such temporary staff.

In a new report on last month’s labour market, demand for IT contractors is scored at 55.0, compared to 52.9 in April. The rise represents the first of its kind this year for IT contractors.

The report’s authors, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said that end-users were now “showing uncertainty about hiring in the run-up to the EU referendum.”

This uncertainty dates back to March (when willingness to hire people permanently waned), but IT contractors as a specific group of temporary workers have not benefited; until now.

In fact, growth in demand for their skills sunk between December 2015 and January; January and February, February and March, March and April. It has only risen this year in the four weeks of May.

And although demand for IT contractors was still growing during all the periods, the scores given (based on REC members’ agencies billings) were among their lowest for three-years.

But it is the future that now concerns the federation. “Whatever happens post-June 23rd, we need to ensure a sensible approach to immigration is taken,” says REC’s CEO Kevin Green.

He added: “Sourcing workers from outside the UK is going to be an ongoing necessity if we are to continue seeing the British economy grow.”

Green believes that the UK government has “a responsibility not to derail” the success that the economy has been brought by the “dynamism and flexibility” of the labour market.

In the technology space, that market is short of applicants for IT Security, Analytics, Digital, Business Intelligence, Development, Gaming, Mobile App, SQL, PHP and .Net positions.

Also in May, REC’s agency members saw a shortage of IT contractors to execute contracts requiring Java, PHP, Development, Digital, Business Intelligence and Business Analysis.

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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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