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‘Cautious optimism’ for UK IT jobs recovery

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There's evidence today that any tentative recovery in the UK's IT jobs market is patchy with the number of contract openings on the up while permanent position are on the slide.

The number of contract IT vacancies advertised between April and June 2003 climbed by nearly 7 per cent compared to Q1 2003. However, the IT jobs market as a whole saw a slight downturn following a 4 per cent fall in the number of permanent positions advertised, according to the latest stats from CWJobs UK Quarterly Regional IT Skills Index.

For example, Inner London saw a rise in both permanent (17 per cent) and contract (46 per cent) positions, although permanent vacancies fell throughout all other regions.

In the North West, contract vacancies have grown 35 per cent since Q2 2002, although the West and Wales have seen falls in both permanent (12 per cent and contract (1 per cent) jobs.

Despite the uncertain picture, Shobhan Gajjar, Web site director at CWJobs, believes there is scope for "cautious optimism".

"UK companies are gaining sufficient confidence in the economy to invest in IT projects again. This is supported by the definite increase in demand for IT contractors from our customers across the country, and our job vacancy statistics for the last two quarters.

"Demand is especially strong for high-end project managers and business analysts in the NHS and local authorities. As always, the permanent picture is more mixed but taken overall the figures allow room for cautious optimism," he said. ®

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