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IT job market feels the economic pinch

Fewer tech jobs are being advertised and the number of job seekers has fallen, according to a report by e-skills UK
Written by Alex Pullin, Contributor

The economic gloom has hit the IT job market, with fewer ICT jobs advertised, fewer job seekers and a lack of interest in training, according to new research.

During the third quarter of last year, overall demand for staff in the UK fell by five percent quarter-on-quarter, a report by IT skills body e-skills UK found. For IT, however, the picture is even bleaker: the number of positions on offer declined by 10 percent.

Falling demand was recorded for both permanent and contract posts, with vacancy numbers dropping by nine percent and 13 percent quarter-on-quarter respectively.

Alex Farrell, managing director of The IT Job Board, has also noted a drop in IT jobs advertised, with both contract and permanent positions feeling the pinch.

"Overall we have seen a drop in the number of roles advertised by 20 percent but the ratio of permanent to contract has remained consistent," she said.

"The market is the same but the perceptions of IT personnel are that there are less contractor jobs and more permanent positions, which we have yet to actually see," Farrell added.

As the credit crunch continues to bite, it seems techies are increasingly loathe to move jobs: according to e-skills UK, the number of job seekers fell by 12 percent in the third quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, training seems to have taken a back seat: the percentage of IT staff who said they had received training in the last 13 weeks was just 24 percent, according to e-skills UK.

In total, more than 77 percent of ICT staff said they had been offered training but had not taken it up, the research found.

There was some good news in the IT job market, however. With the exception of computer engineers, the quarter saw pay increases for all full-time ICT occupations.

IT strategy and planning staff received the largest gains with weekly pay up three percent, while software professionals saw gains of two percent, and ICT managers enjoyed an increase of one percent.

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