IT Jobs Report March – Brexit Uncertainty Replaced by Economic Optimism Replaced by COVID-19 Uncertainty
The UK has finally left the EU, but we’re all still locked in, albeit in a very different way. With COVID-19 being the biggest issue we are facing, how has it affected the state of IT Jobs?
Finally, the end of Brexit confusion, or is it?
The first two months of the year saw many IT and tech businesses becoming a lot more confident in hiring new staff and reigniting employment. Whether this was through releasing on hold projects or just being confident of an economic and business direction. Finally.
What the sector saw was a that recruitment demand was at its highest over the first two months of 2020 that it had been at any other time in the last year. Everything was getting ready for a big bounce-back year of recruitment for many IT recruiters in 2020.
However, everything has changed with the enforced halt to the UK workforce with the Coronavirus events that have unfolded and caused so much upheaval across the country and across every sector. Even the IR35 changes to contracting and the reforms that go with it, which were expected to be negative to the availability of contract workers, has been put into perspective, or at least on the backburner.
Recruitment companies see a drop in temporary and contract candidates
While the outlook for permanent staff was a bright beacon of hope for IT professionals and recruiters alike, the same couldn’t be said for contact workers.
January and February combined for the steepest drop in temporary candidate numbers for over seven months, up even from December 2019.
Clearly the upcoming IR35 changes were already being felt in this sector.
North of England sees growth in business confidence
In the North the job market threw off the shackles endemic of months (if not years) of economic uncertainty. Businesses saw an opportunity, after Brexit, to press ahead with growth plans. This had meant an upturn in IT employment figures, especially in the permanent sector.
Job seekers were also witnessing what wee had been saying for a long time, and where anecdotal evidence supports; that new opportunities were there to be taken for experienced IT professionals, looking to move on to newer pastures.
But again, COVID-19 put a halt to this northern growth.
The Midlands fares likewise
The same could have been said for the Midlands region too, uncertainty replaced by optimism replaced by further uncertainty for exactly the same reasons as the North of England.
How the Coronavirus or COVID-19 changes the economic and jobs landscape in IT in the next few months remains to be seen. But we can take a pretty good bet on little to no IT recruitment taking place any time soon.
IT skills needed: