IT Jobs Report January – The Decade Ends in Renewed Optimism

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IT Jobs Report January – The Decade Ends in Renewed Optimism

If the General Election proved anything, it was that with a single message, just three words long, repeated often enough, can help drive an overwhelming majority win for the government. And this in itself has seen benefits for the IT jobs market too.

Obviously there were other key election issues, but having an election mandate that promised to end the Brexit stalemate after enduring three and half years of posturing has clearly helped the Conservatives get the majority they were looking for.

IT Recruitment Shows Signs of Life

Even if it we only looked at our own job placement figures, we would definitely be seeing a rise in the number of candidates placed in December. However, there are signs this is also happening across the country too. The end of the decade brought with it a positive spike in the number of permanent placements for the first time in a year.

Market analysts KPMG attributed this growth to higher business activity, restarting delayed

hiring plans and IR35 legislation. Uncertainty in the role of Brexit looks like it has been quashed with the Tech industry quickly looking to approve new hires as well as some shifting from contract to permanent. Although the legislative changes for the IR35 may have had an impact on this too.

The Markit graphs below show the trend clearly shifting toward permanent, especially for IT and Tech during December 2019.

The North & North West

There was a clear rise in demand for both permanent and temporary jobs in the North of England. There was a three month high for the number of advertised vacancies in the region in the final month of 2019.

Combine this with the softest decrease in the number of candidates available in the market for over two and half years and this made for a solid end to the decade in terms of IT jobs and candidates successfully placed.  

Data from the ONS showed that the North West experienced a 5% increase in average weekly earnings year on year in the third quarter, following the string trend across the entire North of England. 

The Midlands

Kate Holt, a People Consulting Partner at KPMG confirmed that there is light at the end of the 2019 for jobs in the Midlands region although was reticent on whether this should be seen as permanent or temporary optimism:

“The jobs market across the Midlands seems to finally be showing signs of life, with permanent

placements rising for the first time in a year. However…recruiters are still facing a shortage of candidates for both permanent and temporary roles, so whether it can be sustained remains to be seen. Businesses will be hoping for further clarity from government to get the country back on track for investment and growth so that they can confidently make future hiring decisions.”

This tempering of whether the IT jobs market has seen a positive directional shift or not is based on whether December’s figures, the highest for 12 months will continue in 2020. While economic activity has improved, and candidate availability hasn’t fallen as hard in the region, we enter a new year with a lot more optimism than the last.

What Can we Expect in 2020: Continued Salary Increases?

Salaries across all the regions in the UK continued to rise. IT workers continue to be in demand and the shortage of candidates allied to the rise in IT vacancies has certainly been a huge factor in the continuing rise in salaries. Candidates remain confident of asking for and receiving more.

What can be expected in the first quarter for 2020 remains an optimistic surprise for most of us in the IT and Tech sector, both on the recruitment side and the candidate side. Be sure to check back on our Social page because Ascent People will be here to take you through the latest IT Jobs Reports every month.

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