IT Jobs Report August

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IT Jobs Report August

Last month saw a further slowdown in IT recruitment. Traditional Summer holidays can explain much of this trend but there are also challenges in the economic outlook to consider too and then there is the continuing skills shortage and an ongoing lack of suitable candidates

All of which meant employers were more hesitant in regards to their hiring plans. But this also ensures that salaries remain high. 

Cost of living rises

Alongside rising inflation the cost of living crisis continues to bite.  Some IT workers are choosing to stay where they are rather than risk job security by moving now, however with limited candidate availability for some employers, a focus on upskilling existing workers and attracting talent remains an essential strategy, especially for UK business to play its part in driving forward the economy

IT recruitment activity grows but slower than previous

Latest IT and general UK recruitment trends demonstrated slower increases in both permanent staff appointments and temporary billing. The data shows that last month was the weakest rate of expansion in the last 17 month.

Caution is the theme with many of our clients commenting on wider economic uncertainty (and rising costs) on hiring decisions. This was borne out in the fact that temporary billings rose slightly stronger than permanent staff appointments.

A dip in vacancy growth and candidate availability

Last month experienced the slowest rate of vacancy growth in over two years belying that the demand for staff in July continued to rise. 

We saw this at the sharp end with candidate availability also noticeably falling with skills shortages, fewer foreign workers and a greater hesitancy to seek out new jobs anecdotally because of economic uncertainty and concerns over job security.

Starting pay inflation eases only slightly

With continuing rises in the cost of living and with greater competition between firms requiring specific IT skilled experienced staff starting salaries continued to rise across both permanent and short-term sectors in July. 

The North of England

Permanent placements continued to rise in the UK during July. That said, the rate of increase eased and was the slowest in the current 17-month sequence of increase. The Midlands led the rise in July, however three of the four monitored English regions saw the rate of growth in permanent staff appointments ease on the month.

The exception was the North of England, which nonetheless saw only a modest rise in July. A steep increase in temporary billings was recorded at the start of the third quarter, though the rate of expansion slowed for the sixth successive month and was the softest since February 2021. London posted the sharpest increase in temporary billings, while the Midlands saw the slowest expansion.

Candidate availability Permanent candidate availability continued to fall sharply across the UK in July. The rate of decline eased from that seen in June however, and was the softest for 15 months. Steep reductions were seen across all four monitored English regions, with London recording the quickest fall. That said, all regions saw slower rates of decline in July. Similar to the picture for permanent candidate availability, the supply of temporary staff decreased markedly in the UK in the latest survey period. However, the rate of reduction eased to the slowest since March 2021. The South of England saw the softest deterioration in temp candidate supply, with the sharpest decline in the North of England. 

The Midlands

The Midlands saw a further reduction in the supply of permanent candidates during July. The rate of decrease remained marked, yet eased considerably to the slowest since May 2021. 

Anecdotal evidence suggested that people were reluctant to move at present due to economic headwinds and the cost of living crisis. At the national level, the reduction in the availability of permanent staff was quicker than that seen in the Midlands.

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