IT contractor demand scraped growth in October

Demand for IT contractors only just about grew in October, seemingly because the Brexit-induced uncertainty that shined a favourable light on such freelance hires got pushed back.

In fact, IT contractor demand came in last month at 50.2, compared to 51.2 in September, according to Report on Jobs by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

That means contract IT skills demand grew narrowly (a 50.0+ score signals monthly growth), but the slowdown hit in the same month that the Brexit deadline extended to January.

When the deadline loomed large in September, the appetite for IT freelancers (who can be picked up and put down as conditions require unlike permies), moved firmly into the black.

Now, with the uncertainty diluted due to no UK withdrawal from Europe until Jan 31st at the earliest, the full-time IT market has suddenly posted more vacancies than any other sector.

The ‘scarce skills’ that IT staff end-users are actively looking for underlines the resurgence – an exhaustive list of 11 different specialisms in October, REC’s permie agents said.

The eleven are, Data; Data Science, CAD, Development, Digital, Software, Technical Sales; Technology, IT, Analysis, and Automation Testing. 

In the more subdued contractor market, the IT agents reported eight skills as hard to source, notably Data Science, Development, CAD, IT, Technology, Programming and Software Engineering.

Chiming with what staffing giant SThree is predicating for New Year 2020, the confederation’s member agencies also reported a scarcity of contractors skilled in Python.

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