IT recruitment market wobbles as contractor vacancies dry up

The number of job vacancies advertised for contract IT staff has fallen for the first time in four years, raising fears of a slowdown in IT recruitment, research reveals.

The latest quarterly jobs survey, by analysts SSL and Personnel Today’s sister title Computer Weekly, found that demand for contract IT staff declined by 12.7% between the first and second quarters of the year.

Philip Virgo, strategic adviser at the Institute for the Management of Information Systems, said: “The fall in demand for contractors may presage a sharp fall in demand for permanent staff. There could be a very lean streak running through to next spring.”

Advertised vacancies for developers fell by 9.2%, technical support specialist positions were down 11.9%, and freelance project manger roles fell by 18.6%, the survey revealed.

The downturn coincides with the completion of several major IT projects in the City, including a new system to deliver Bacs payments, regulatory compliance work and chip-and-pin roll-outs for retailers and banks.

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