Confidence in jobs recovery continues to grow

Demand for IT workers high

The UK job market is on the road to recovery, with IT industries leading the way, according to a new jobs report.

The monthly study by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed that the demand for permanent employees across all sectors grew at the fastest rate in four months in December 2010.

IT workers were one of the groups that were most in demand in the period covered by the report.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said: "The latest data suggests again that the UK job market is on the road to recovery as growth of permanent placements remained solid and demand for staff rose strongly.

"A look at the sectors indicates that the private sector is mainly responsible for the overall positive picture, with IT and computing as well as executive and professional staff most in demand."

The report is based on a survey of 400 UK recruitment consultants, and as well as asking consultants to name specific skills that are in short supply, uses a figure to represent demand in each job sector. A figure above 50 indicates an increase on the previous month.

Last month, the demand for IT and computing workers grew at the strongest rate out of all industry sectors, with growth picking up to a six-month high. Its report index figure for permanent IT staff was 60.5, down slightly compared with 63.6 December 2009, but up from 56.6 in November 2010.

For temporary IT staff, the figure was 56.6 in December 2010, which was also a small reduction from 58.1 the same time a year before.

However, Brown also warned that there was still the impact of government cutbacks in the public sector to be felt.

"[The impact] should start to bite over the coming months. Second, the impact of the recent VAT increase [to 20 percent] and whether this will affect UK consumer demand and job creation [will be the two big issues]," he said.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, added: "Addressing the issue of one million young people under 24 not in education or employment is critical for the long-term success of our economy and must be a priority for the government in 2011."

The skills that continue to be reported to be in short supply are those in .Net developing, for both permanent and temporary roles. In addition, Java developers were said to be in short supply in the contract market.

Permanent staff skills in short supply were reported as net developers. And in temporary skills, it was net developers and java developers.

IT jobs experts recently predicted that a skills shortage may be shortage by the end of the year, particularly in web-based skills, as customers increase their development in online and e-commerce.

David Cameron also this week hosted a jobs summit with some of the largest UK companies to solicit pledges from them to help the government's agenda to boost jobs. Microsoft announced 4,000 jobs to this end.

This story, "Confidence in jobs recovery continues to grow" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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