The internet-based jobs market PeoplePerHour.com has revealed figures which suggest that PAYE umbrella contractors working in the IT skills market are enjoying a bumper Christmas, with the number of businesses hiring IT consultants soaring by 612%.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Xenios Thrasyvoulou, welcomed the figures, which he believes show the IT sector surviving robustly in tough economic circumstances. He said “Our figures show that IT Consultants are in high demand over the run up to Christmas. Businesses are able to increase their margins using freelancers and make the most of the extra income to be made over the festive season.”

The figures support trends noted by the REC’s Technology Sector Group, which we reported on yesterday. Moreover, a survey conducted by ReThink Recruitment provides further seasonal cheer for specialists in IT contracting: techies working on e-commerce tools for tablet computers and smartphones are commanding pay rates 20% higher than staff in more conventional e-commerce roles. For example, whereas staff working on laptop- or desktop-based ecommerce projects can expect to earn around £280 per day, ReThink’s data reveals that junior designers working on mcommerce (mobile commerce) platforms secure around £350 per day.

ReThink’s Director, Iain Blair, said “We are seeing a large wave of work as retailers beef up their mobile retailing offerings. They see mcommerce as an exciting new sales avenue and are more aware than ever of the potential boom in revenue from giving customers a highly customised and slick mobile browsing experience.”

Candidates with the most sought-after skills are finding themselves juggling four or five offers, ReThink suggests.

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