UK contractors working in the finance sector either through umbrella companies or their own limited companies may be somewhat perturbed by a new report from the pre-employment screening company Powerchex. Figures contained in the publication indicate that the number of job offers made within this sector of the economy went on falling through October, continuing a gloomy trend.

The decline in job availability wasn’t precipitous, thankfully, but it hardly makes for comforting reading: job offers fell by five per cent during the month, appreciably less than the depressing ten per cent decline seen in August but a little up on the four per cent drop recorded in September.

Commenting in the figures, the Managing Director of Powerchex, Alexandra Kelly, believes that the financial services sector is “tightening its belt” vis-à-vis recruitment, even though it showed signs of rallying during the first half of 2010. She thinks that the government’s recently announced spending cuts may well be starting to take effect, reversing the trend seen at the beginning of the year when many financial companies started to take on new people.

The picture isn’t an entirely dispiriting one, however. The report also suggests that recruitment rose by 17 per cent in the field of IT contracting, by 20 per cent amongst stockbrokers and by a vigorous 33 per cent amongst investment bankers. One can only hope that these trends will extend shortly to other roles in the sector. The jury, however, is yet to deliver a verdict on the real economic effects of the government’s recent decisions.

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