SThree, the largest IT staffing agency in the UK, has reported its belief that It contractors are in continued demand due to technical staff changing jobs rather than an increase IT budgets. This would suggest that there hasn’t actually been any growth in the sector, rather It contractors seem to have ‘itchy feet’ and are therefore moving jobs and creating vacancies.

TechMarketView’s Richard Holway commented: “This confirms in my mind that, as we have always said, 2010 is indeed going to be another down year in the UK IT market.”

In actual fact, SThree’s ICT based contractor business dropped 22% in the six months between November 2009 and May 2010. Chief executive Russell Clements attributed this to “contracts we expected to extend didn’t get extended”. He also said that there had been and continues to be “torrid” conditions in the public sector which resulted in only 7% of their total billings being for public sector contracts whereas the norm is around 13%. However, on a more positive note, he stated that contractor pay rates had “remained robust” so far this year in line with the second half of last year.

Clements concluded: “Our performance is consistent with a market showing some continuing signs of improvement. That said, trading conditions still have some way to go before they can be regarded as normal and consultant productivity, whilst improved is still somewhat below historical levels.”

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