Cuts in the public sector have led to a reduction in the number of contract positions available according to the most recent analysis from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) in their Report on Jobs.

During July, demand for IT contractors reduced to 56.5 from 56.9 the previous month. However, considering the lull in hiring in May, July’s figures were still an improvement. In fact, considering that demand in July 2009 stood at 46.2 there has been a marked increase in demand over the past twelve months.

However, July’s decrease in demand for contractors has affected IT candidates alongside all other professional sectors. This was referred to by REC as a “significant deceleration in the jobs market”.

Chief executive Kevin Green commented, “Public bodies must avoid knee-jerk cuts to staffing levels which not only threaten the recovery of the UK jobs market but also undermine the delivery of key services.”

Mr Green stated his belief that job creation in the private sector should be a priority for the government, urging them to “do everything possible” to counteract the 600,000 job cuts which will occur over the coming twelve months. This is an estimate of the worst-case scenario in the public sector but does not take into account any job cuts within the private sector.

The result for contractors, of course, is that there will be more contractors competing for less contracts. According to REC, this has been the case now for 27 months in a row.

However, there is still a skills shortage in the IT sector. Candidates with Ped, .NET, SAP, It Security, Business Analysis and Office support skills are in particular demand.

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