Contractors working through umbrella companies in the IT skills market may have noticed a squeeze on the availability of new assignments during June, which yielded fewer work opportunities across a range of sectors than in May.

According to the latest Reed Job Index, job opportunities continued to grow in June but at a slower rate than the previous month (down by 4.8%). There is little cause for excessive pessimism, however, as the fall in growth is almost certainly a blip rather than a trend, being the predictable result of the extended bank holiday period during the month.

IT contracting opportunities registered a Reed Index score of 167 in June, a fall of 17 points on May’s 184. Other sectors that saw a sharpish fall in growth rate vis-à-vis job opportunities were engineering (down 23 index points to 243), energy (down 32 points to 103) and construction (down 12 points to 145). Some sectors did exceptionally well, however, including health and medicine and automotive and engineering, with scores for each holding up robustly despite the holiday.

Reed Managing Director Michael Warnes commented:

“Though month on month growth fell back slightly, largely due to the extended bank holiday period, broadly speaking, job opportunities are growing healthily across many sectors and in the vast majority of regions. A good news story arising from the figures is the buoyancy of the automotive and engineering sectors.”

He drew attention to new developments in the car industry in the North West and West Midlands, which have significantly boosted job opportunities there and contributed to “the overall health of the jobs market and wider UK economy.”

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