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There is less demand for IT professionals in the UK and fewer posts are being advertised. IT-related Job Centre adverts fell by a quarter and there were 7,000 less jobs advertised online and in the press in the first quarter of 2005. But there is some good news - actual gross salaries rose by about two per cent in the quarter.

The figures come from the e-skills Bulletin, the government body charged with sorting out the skills shortage. And it looks like they've succeeded - only 0.3 per cent of firms reported problems recruiting IT staff.

Average gross weekly earnings for IT staff in the first quarter of 2005 were £623 - or an annual salary of £32, 400. Female IT workers earn less than their male counterparts although the differential is smaller than other occupations. IT professionals in London earn more - £747 a week.

IT workers in Northern Ireland, the North East and Wales do worst with average earners making less than £500 a week.

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