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IT contractor North/South divide continues to grow
Posted Jan 22, 2012
The latest quarterly survey of IT jobs posted on recruitment websites shows that although the demand for IT contractors continues to grow nationwide, a larger proportion of roles than ever are based in the South.
The jobadswatch.co.uk website provides quarterly updates on the state of the IT recruitment industry, based on the jobs posted on all the major job boards over time.
The report for the final quarter of 2011 shows that the IT jobs market as a whole is in a healthy state, with the number of contract positions advertised climbing by 5.1% between October and December, with an annual increase in demand for contractors of over 25%.
The permanent market is also growing, albeit at a slower rate, recording a 1.5% increase in demand over the quarter.
Trends identified by the survey
One of the most striking findings from the latest report is the regional variations of contractor demand. The vast majority of contract roles has always been in the South of the country, but the North/South split has grown significantly since the 2008/9 downturn began.
83.5% of all advertised positions are now located in the South. All regions reported an increase in advertised contract roles over the past quarter, except the North East, North West and Scotland.
Over the past year, most regions have seen grown in IT contractor demand of over 20% (Inner London recorded a 30% rise), however the North West saw a drop of 17.6%, and the IT contract markets in the North East and Scotland contracted by around 3% each.
There has been a strong growth in demand for all IT skills, with .NET and Agile skills topping the growth charts for 2011 as a whole.
Financial organisations and software houses continue to take over 80% of the demand for IT contractors, and this past quarter saw an end to the sharp decline in demand for public sector contractors. Demand rose by over 5% in the final quarter of 2011, following a yearly fall of over 28%.
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