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Contractors see a silver lining

It's not all bad - honest...
Written by Pia Heikkila, Contributor

It's not all bad - honest...

Despite the recent doom and gloom about the prospects for contractors, the latest survey suggests they can expect a relatively prosperous 2002. According to a study called 'IT Recruitment and Employment Trends', carried out by agency Elan, the contractor market will pick up during the next two quarters by 11 per cent and should to recover fully by the end of the year. The increased need for temporary staff is due to expected growth in IT budgets and the arrival of new projects and technologies over the next 12 months, the study said. Peter Anthony, director and co-founder of Elan, said the contractor market is usually the first one to recover after recession. He said: "Temp workers are the first ones to go, but as soon as the worst is over and projects start picking up again, companies look for contractors to fill the gaps. We have received positive feedback from our clients which suggests the situation is improving rapidly." Contractors have been hit hard by the economic downturn as many companies have introduced reduced rates or cut down on the number of contractors used. The study also found morale among contractors has sunk to an all time low, with nearly a third of those interviewed saying they felt 'expendable'. Anthony said: "When firms start to trim down the fat, they try to minimise all expenditure which is no longer seen as critical to the business. This means reducing the number of contractors and trying to shift staff towards permanent employment. This might make contractors feel that they are no longer needed in that business." Elan interviewed 250 contractors and 100 IT managers across different industries. Yesterday silicon.com reported that telecommunications jobs are at their lowest point for 30 years. The news came from recruitment agency Manpower's Quarterly Survey of Employment Prospects.
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