Highest IT contractor index score since EU vote

A national index measuring demand for IT contractors shows its highest numerical reading since the UK’s Brexit decision.

In fact, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation scores IT contractor demand at 55.6, compared with 53.4 in August, 53.7 in July and 52.8 in the referendum month of June.

The September index score is even higher than in the months immediately before the UK went to the polls, such as May (55.0) and April (52.9), shows the REC Report on Jobs series.

It represents “further evidence that UK employers have shrugged off the initial shock of the referendum result,” says REC’s director of policy Tom Hadley.

He was referring to the initial evidence emerging in August, when hirers across all sectors -- including IT -- were spotted reverting to “pre-referendum patterns” for their recruitment.

However, “there remains a degree of caution in London, where permanent hiring has been on pause for the last five months,” Hadley said.

“This is likely to be because of uncertainty around the longer-term impact of the referendum result within the financial sector in particular.”

A second pause has hit hirers seeking gaming or digital skills, as the latter was scarce in September on a contract basis, and the former was scarce on both a full-time and contract basis.

There is also a shortage of IT contractors for development work, found REC member agents, who with full-time roles struggled to find enough applicants for Java and SQL positions.

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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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