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IT workers lured into contracting

Rising pay is one of the factors that has lured workers into the contractor lifestyle
Written by Sylvia Carr, Contributor on

Lucrative fees have tempted an increasing proportion of UK IT workers into becoming contractors, according to the 2006 Skills Survey carried out by ZDNet UK sister site Silicon.com.

The survey found that contractors who have no desire to become permanent employees now make up 10 percent of the IT workforce — up 2.6 percentage points since last year.

Rising pay is one of the factors that has lured workers into the contractor lifestyle and the Skills Survey revealed more IT contractors are now earning high annual salaries.

This year 13 percent of contractors earned more than £110,000 — up from five percent in 2005 and two percent in 2004. The percentage of IT contractors bringing in £70,001 to £110,000 also rose to 26 percent in 2006 — up from 17 percent in 2005 and 10 percent in 2004.

But it seems the workers who want to become contractors have already done so, as the percentage of permanent employees wishing to make the move to contracting has fallen back to seven percent of the IT workforce after three consecutive years of gains from 2003 to 2005.

The majority of workers — 68 percent — remain permanent employees who do not want to change their status.

Meanwhile, the percentage of the workforce which is unemployed and claiming benefits hit two percent this year. That's up slightly from 1.8 percent in 2005, but down considerably from the post dot-com bust days of 2004, when unemployment hit 5.3 percent.

The 2006 findings are based on responses from 1,198 individuals.

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