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There is just the teensy weensiest hint of a sign that there could be the beginnings of a recovery in the IT jobs market in the UK.

The number of IT job vacancies in the UK fell by 28 per cent between April and June 2002 compared to the previous three months - the lowest fall for several successive quarters.

The South East of England experienced the smallest fall for several quarters suggesting that lack of demand for IT jobs is beginning to bottom out and leading some to be "cautiously optimistic" about the future.

The UK Quarterly Regional IT Skills Index from Salary Survey Publications Ltd (SSP) and online IT jobs outfit, CWJobs, suggests that the rate of decline in the UK IT jobs market is slowing down.

Nigel Sterndale, publisher at CWJobs said: "The IT sector makes a crucial contribution to the UK economy, with over one million people employed in IT and communications.

"Our research shows that the slow down in the IT industry is starting to ease up and we can afford to be cautiously optimistic.

However, any recovery is likely to be patchy. In the North West, for example, the number of job vacancies fell by almost half suggesting that this area at least has some way to go before it sees any sign of improvement. ®

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