Despite the actions of major banking institutions last year, which saw pay rates for specialists in IT contracting being summarily slashed, 2011 was actually a rather good year for those who earn their daily bread in the IT skills market. Data from online IT recruiters and reveals a strong rise in job postings and a healthy growth in pay rates – the fastest, in fact, for three years.

2011 saw a veritable explosion in mobile apps and, unsurprisingly, the lion’s share of the recruitment space was taken by developers: between them, they were responsible for 41% of all the IT jobs posted in Q4. There was also encouraging news for PAYE umbrella techies – contractor billings rose by 25% in Q4 2011.

London enjoyed a powerful 28% rise in IT postings in the last quarter of 2011 compared with Q4 2010. According to CWJobs, this was almost certainly due to East London’s City Tech initiative, which aims to generate IT opportunities for tech start-ups in the area. Over three quarters of permanent IT posts (77%) were offered in the South and West of the country.

There was little cheer for public sector workers, however: the sector has now experienced nine consecutive quarters of contraction, with job availability plunging a further 16% in Q4 2011.

After the swingeing jobs cull it performed in the immediate aftermath of the recession (2008-2009), the financial sector seems to be bouncing back with significantly improved job postings toward the end of last year. Almost a quarter (21%) of all available IT jobs are now in the finance sector.

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