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Demand for IT jobs stinks in UK

Slightly less stinky than other months though!

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There's significantly less demand for IT staff in the UK compared to last year according to a job report published today, although the tech sector has still fared better than most.

A March job report commissioned by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and accounting firm KPMG indicates the UK's overall job market continued to deteriorate last month, albeit at a slower pace than it has for the past six months.

Those are rather small positives in a gloomy monthly survey which polls 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. KPMG's head of business services Mike Stevens heaps on the pessimism if you were looking at the results as a sign the job market is limping towards improvement:

While some observes might see small upticks in all these indicators as evidence of green shoots of recovery, the reality is that the availability of permanent and temporary jobs in the UK continues to decline, salaries are being reduced and the pool of available candidates is rising further. These latest figures leave no doubt that the UK jobs market is at its worst in the 11 year history of the survey and recovery might take longer and be more protracted than many hope.

The report numerically represents demand for jobs so a figure below 50 indicates a drop from the previous month. A number above 50 signals stronger demand than a month ago. It's pointlessly confusing — but that's just how statisticians roll.

For permanent jobs in the IT & computing sector, March 2009 received a score of 31.9 compared to 52.4 in the same period last year.

Temporary/contract IT work got a score of 31.9 for the month compared to 55.6 in March 2008.

The only positive trend in demand for staff for March was in the nursing and medical care sector. Obviously, someone needs to give Americans their economic-depression inspired facelifts.

The (slightly) positive news for techies is that IT jobs are the least crappiest sector to be looking for permanent work. IT & Computing ranked slightly above executive/professional work (31.1), engineering/construction (30.2), accounting/financial (28.5), hotel and catering (28.3), secretarial/clerical (26.7) and blue collar (26.3).

Key permanent staff skill reported in short supply for the IT sector was developers.

For temporary and contract work, however, decline in available IT jobs ranked below everything but accounting and construction.

The IT temp skill in shortest supply is CNC programmers, according to the study.

A copy of the survey can be found here. ®

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