IT contractors' hirers in 'pre-referendum' mode

The first signs of the IT contracts market returning to “pre-referendum patterns” were seen in August, implying any ups - or downs, for IT contractors from the Brexit vote were short-lived.

But it is “still too early to make conclusions about what impact the vote to leave the EU will have on the jobs market” in the long term, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation cautioned yesterday.

“The UK jobs market returned to pre-referendum patterns in August as the initial shock of the vote result subsided,” said REC’s chief executive Kevin Green, writing in the confederation’s monthly Report on Jobs.

In line with his comments, the IT contracts market reverted last month to an index score slightly above both the referendum month (June) and the start of the financial year (April), but lower than in May.

Standing at 53.4, compared with 53.7 in July, the index reading means that demand for IT contractors still grew in August (anything over 50.0 indicates growth on the prior month), albeit at a slightly reduced rate.

Yet positively for those ‘on the bench,’ shortages of IT contractors also grew month-on-month, as July’s scarcity of developers remains but is now joined by too few candidates for digital, gaming, PHP and Java contracts.

Inadequate numbers of applicants for permanent IT roles exist too, with agents struggling to fill posts in mobile development, embedded software, digital marketing, gaming, information security, Java and .Net, the report says.

It is therefore no longer a case of employers being reluctant or too cautious to hire due to Brexit jitters. The REC said: “Permanent hiring returned to growth [in August] as employers confirmed appointments that had been on hold or delayed in June and July.”

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

IT contracts pool shrank 12.4% after Brexit vote

Brexit: Shrewd IT contractors will make hay while the sun shines

Where a Brexit will affect IT contractor recruitment

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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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