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London takes lion's share of new IT jobs

Bailed out banks still hiring

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Since the start of the recession London and the South East of England have created close to two thirds (64 per cent) of all new IT jobs in Blighty, up from 58 per cent before the economy dipped.

According to research carried out by ReThink Recruitment, the region shows that it is "bouncing back strongly from the recession" despite the fact that many predicted that London and the South East would suffer a huge blow because of the number of IT jobs in the banking sector.

“London has a high concentration of financial services firms, which are heavy users of IT skills. Many of them responded to the downturn by cutting their IT departments to the bone," said ReThink Recruitment director Michael Bennett.

"As businesses levels have picked up, many have found themselves understaffed and have had to replace a lot of the skills that were shed during the recession.”

He added that the financial downturn led to more investment in compliance and risk management systems, particularly in the banking sector. "We have seen a substantial increase in demand for candidates skilled in these areas,” he said.

“The wave of mergers between financial institutions brought about by the credit crunch has fuelled demand for IT candidates in London and the South East to handle post M&A integration of banking IT systems.”

Bennett said the public sector had taken a hit during the recession by pointing out that budgets had been squeezed.

"Regions outside London and the South East tend to be much more reliant on the public sector and with hiring freezes now implemented this may stifle the creation of IT jobs,” he said.

The only other UK region to see a jump in IT recruitment since the recession started in June 2008 was Yorkshire and Humberside, despite several local high street banks laying people off in the area.

The region didn't just concentrate its IT efforts on banking, however. It also invested heavily in ecommerce, had Siemens set up home there and benefited from retailers shifting parts of their biz online.

Yorkshire and Humberside claimed 5.3 per cent of total new jobs in June 2008 compared to 6.2 per cent last month. ®

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