Demand for flexible workers in the IT sector increased for the first time in three months in October, according to the latest Report on Jobs published by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

IT contractor demand was scored at 60.3 last month, which is considerably higher than the 58.7 and 58.6 figures recorded in August and September and mirrored the summer high back in June.

The latest data suggests that the downward trend for growth of IT contractor demand since late summer has now come to end, with more hirers now wanting to source professionals during the final quarter of the calendar year.

The lower figures and slowdown in growth over for the past few months may have been due to pay rate cuts introduced for IT contractors by financial firms such as the Bank of America, which are also likely to have affected freelancers’ confidence in the economy.

Demand has now soared to its highest rate since June and skills shortages also appear to be easing, as the REC listed just five roles that are scarce for IT contracts: digital marketing, PHP, testers, Java and Oracle.

Despite this, many businesses still want want the government to address ongoing talent shortages in the autumn statement 2015, with REC chief Kevin Green noting that skills deficits are still being felt in the construction sector.

Mr Green continued: “The government must focus on alleviating the skills crisis which threatens economic growth.” He concluded by saying: “A real commitment to delivering world-class careers advice and work experience would be a big step in the right direction.”

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