PAYE umbrella contractors on the lookout for new job opportunities may be encouraged to hear that bankruptcies in the UK have dropped appreciably over the last twelve months.

Commercial bankruptcies fell by 31.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, with 12,539 insolvencies being reported in the latest Insolvency Service report. Encouraging though this development is, it hardly invites the popping of champagne corks just yet: the figures reveal a slight increase in the level of bankruptcy reported in the final quarter of last year, which reached 12,028.

The first quarter of 2011 also saw a decrease in the number of personal insolvencies when compared to the same period in 2010 – 30,162 people officially became insolvent between January and March this year, representing a drop of 31.3 per cent on last year’s figures.

Umbrella companies supplying the IT skills market have more reason to be optimistic, however, as Monster UK’s latest monthly index reveals a 30 per cent rise in recruitment in the IT sector. The index showed that there were more vacancies in the technical sector than any other field, resulting in many specialists in IT contracting securing placements with client users.

Monster UK spokesperson Isabelle Ratinaud noted that there was a “persistent upward trend” in the availability of openings in the IT skills market.

Both sets of figures follow hot on the heels of new data from the REC, which last week indicated that the temporary labour market had expanded in size during April – news which is likely to be music to the ears of the jobbing PAYE umbrella contractor.

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