Contractors specialising in the IT skills market were amongst the few categories of workers to have seen demand increase slightly in June according to the latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs; however, another index suggests that pay rates for PAYE umbrella techies have eased over the last year.

The IT Jobs Watch website provides real-time information about pay rates for IT contracting roles, and the data shows that average daily rates for virtually all IT skill areas have sunk below the rates available this time last year.

Every day the site gathers data on thousands of job billings appearing on the main recruitment sites. While not scientific, the data suggests that ads for developers (22% of the total for IT contractors) offer pay rates an average of 6.25% less than twelve months ago, taking the daily rate down to £375. Similarly, analysts (21% of the ad total for IT contractors) will currently receive an average daily rate 8% down on a year ago.

Focusing specifically on London, a major UK hub for IT professionals, the pay decline appears to be even sharper, with rates for both analyst and developers plunging by 15% over the last year. This still means that the will comfortably trouser around £425 per day, but the evidence strongly suggests that cost cutting remains a major priority for UK businesses. Since an estimated 83.5% of the UK’s IT contractor roles remain in the South, with half of these in London, steep pay cuts in the capital will have a disproportionate effect on the national average.

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