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Jobs slump doesn't mean skills crisis is over

February's 7.1 percent slump in IT Internet Job advertisements doesn't mean the skills crisis will soon be a bad memory.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal, News Editor on

February's 7.1 percent slump in IT Internet job advertisements doesn't mean the skills crisis will soon be a bad memory.

"We're not short of applications -- it's the technical experience," Michelle Caminos, Gartner research VP of IT services and sourcing, said today.

Steve Rogers, director of IT recruitment agency Rusher Rogers Recruiting, agreed: "There are always going to be specialities which are always going to be required," he said.

A closer look at the figures shows that while IT overall fared poorly, falls in management and sales roles were offset by slight increases in advertisements for development and engineering roles.

The number could also have been affected by other factors, Gartner's Caminos said.

Bob Olivier, whose recruitment firm put out the job advertisement figures this week, agreed it is too early to be able to say what the February slump means. "This is the first month of decline. One month isn't a trend," he noted. He added that February is a "bounce back" month, and can't always be taken at face value.

In general, drawing conclusions from employment figures is difficult, Olivier continued: "A lot of economists say employment data is the hardest to read."

Fellow recruiter Rogers said that as yet he had not noticed the drop: "Anecdotally, I'm not really seeing a slow down in the recruitment market." He did add, however, that the demand for people could fall away quickly.

If the jobs industry is softening, enterprise will benefit, according to Olivier. "We are at the top of the market. Decline isn't necessarily a bad thing ... Wage restraint will help enterprises."

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