IT Jobs Report February – Salaries Rising
With the IT Jobs market flying as high as it has been for months, it comes as no surprise there are more roles to fill than candidates to fill them. Being able to dictate your own salary is the very definition of a candidate-driven market.
Claire Warnes, Head of Skills at KPMG UK, put it in a nutshell when she commented that, “the new year has seen the jobs market continuing where it left off, with a steep climb in permanent and temporary hiring. However, a sustained decline in the number of suitable candidates has pushed starting salaries up for yet another month.”
She’s right, salary rates have been climbing steadily, for both temporary and permanent staff, and the new year has seen it climb even more sharply. In fact, according to the ONS, starting salaries right now are enjoying the third sharpest rate of rise since 1997. And this is supported by similar temporary wage inflation rates too.
Figures taken from IHS Markit
Salaries within IT have always remained strong, due to the continuing need for more IT and tech professionals and that there continues to be more roles available than candidates to fill them, which is a simple recipe for higher salaries.
However there are also external factors that continue to drive salaries too. Consumer prices measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), were 5.5% higher in January 2022 than they were at the same time in 2021. Energy prices, specifically household energy tariffs and increasing petrol and diesel costs have also been steadily rising too.
Candidate numbers continue to fall
January and February was a similar experience for us at Ascent People too; we could see the rate of decline in candidate availability was at its highest last month. Only since the mid-pandemic levels of last year have we found finding candidates as challenging as it is today; and driving this downturn has been one of the sharpest of drops in permanent staff supply.
In fact we have seen candidate availability pinch for a number of years now as we are right at the coal face of creating new ways of finding IT professionals in those harder-to-find-job-roles.
What about vacancies?
There was an increase in overall vacancies for another month, that’s 12 in a row now, however, with candidate numbers remaining tight, a buoyant market is a double-edged sword for recruiters.
This means more roles available for fewer candidates who demand more money for their highly coveted experience and skills.
Figures taken from IHS Markit
The North of England Perspective
2022 has already seen a continuation of the pressures within the IT jobs market of 2021. Staff demand remains high with a supply of suitable IT candidates that are falling rather than increasing.
Despite this, we, along with many other IT recruits in the North West did record more placements than last year. Business confidence remains high and specific sectors, like IT and tech client demand remains high.
The wider picture suggests that with poorer candidate availability this would encourage weaker growth in the market. That, combined with inflationary pressures felt throughout the UK and a candidate-oriented market, only increases the pressures of a bidding war over highly-sought candidates, which not only skews the market, but encourages it further too.
IT Skills in demand: