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Telcos are more positive about recruiting staff than they have been since the end of 2001, according to a survey published by the IT industry group e-skills UK.

Its latest quarterly review of the ICT labour market also found that as a whole, employment within the ICT industry is up slightly in Q4 2002, although there has been little change in the number of ICT staff across industry.

There was also a small increase in annual pay rates for permanent ICT staff although the report found that contract rates continued to fall.

Elsewhere, fewer software developers were laid off in Europe than the US last year, according to research from Evans Data Corporation (EDC).

Its Marketing Pattern Report found that 42 per cent of companies based in EMEA laid-off software developers, compared to 51 per cent of US companies.

It's not clear exactly why there is such a difference. One explanation, cited by EDC, is that software developers in EMEA earned less than their colleagues in the US, making layoffs less necessary.

For example, half of EMEA based developers earned less than $40,000 and about two thirds earned less than $55,000.

In the US, on the other hand, two thirds of developers earned more than $55,000 and more than a quarter earned more than $100,000.

Despite this, a majority of developers are content, with less than 45 per cent willing to switch careers for more money.

Said Jeremy McGee, director of Bassett Marketing, EMEA representatives for Evans Data: "The market for development tools in the region continues to thrive. And developers are a critical group for software firms to influence - 81 per cent make recommendations for purchases." ®

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