IT unemployment rate hits five-year high

Weekly wages rise to £730, despite growing job losses in the industry

The economy may be showing its first green shoots, but the IT industry does not seem to be perking up just yet.

Unemployment in the IT and telecoms industry has hit a five-year high, new research from industry skills body e-skills UK has found. In the first quarter of this year, the unemployment rate among ICT workers hit 4.8 percent — its highest level since the first quarter of 2004.

IT strategy and planning workers were among those thought to be hardest hit, with a seven percent quarter-on-quarter fall in employment rates.

ICT job advertisements declined significantly across the board in the first three months of this year, with situations vacant down by 27 percent quarter-on-quarter for permanent workers and 32 percent for contractors.

However, despite growing unemployment, those currently working in ICT are apparently faring well, earning an average of £730 per week — up four percent year-on-year and 40 percent higher than the national average.

The majority of bonuses are also surviving the recession, with around five percent of staff picking up something extra in their pay packet in the first quarter of this year, down from six percent in the corresponding period last year.

"It's still tough out there, but overall ICT pros are not doing so badly when you look at the big picture," the report noted.

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