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Demand for IT jobs falls in UK

The drop in vacancies for IT and computing staff is showing up in both permanent and temporary positions, according to a report from KPMG
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

The demand for IT staff in the UK has fallen sharply since 2007, according to a report commissioned by KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation.

The Report on Jobs for March, published on Wednesday, uses a points system, in which 50 indicates no change in job vacancies posted. Demand for permanent UK IT and computing staff in March 2009 was pegged at 31.9, indicating a sharp year-on-year fall; in March 2008, the score was 52.4.

Openings for temporary IT workers has fared worse. While the March 2009 score for temporary jobs was also 31.9, the previous year's score was 55.6.

However, the call for staff in IT has not fallen as dramatically as in other sectors, according to the report. Demand for IT workers came second only to that for medical and nursing staff. IT specialists were in more demand than engineers and accountants, for example.

Many companies have reported technology job losses in the past 12 months, including HP and Accenture. In spite of this, the decline in vacancies has started to ease, according to the report. Demand for IT workers has risen across the board, from a low of approximately 30 points last month. The same trend was replicated across all sectors.

Nevertheless, Mike Stevens, head of business services at KPMG, warned against placing too much emphasis on this trend.

"While some observers might see small upticks in all these indicators as evidence of green shoots of recovery, the reality is that the availability of permanent and temporary jobs in the UK continues to decline, salaries are being reduced and the pool of available candidates is rising further," said Stevens in a statement. "These latest figures leave no doubt that the UK jobs market is at its worst in the 11-year history of the survey, and recovery might take longer and be more protracted than many hope."

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