IT Jobs Report January – Light at the end of the tunnel
Already in January, it’s starting to remind us of what a busy IT recruitment business used to feel like. The post Christmas lockdown has had a knock-on effect for IT recruitment, but not as much as previously feared, at least not in our (virtual) offices. Business is definitely on the up, things are busier. A spring has returned to the IT recruiter’s step…and it feels good.
According to the chief executive of the REC, Neil Carberry, we witnessed in December a ‘resilience of our economy’ that started to show in a growth in permanent placements in the UK’s IT recruitment sector.
“The underlying strength of the British economy shone through in the December jobs figures.[it was] the biggest expansion in temporary recruitment since October 2018 shows how important the flexible jobs market is to that performance” he said.
The regions have all been experiencing recovery at different speeds; while London continues to fall behind, mainly due to housing some of the most densely populated and deprived areas in the country, it has also experienced some of the highest COVID 19 infection rates too.
Meanwhile, the North of England has also experienced some startlingly high infection rates, especially in the band comprising Merseyside and Greater Manchester.
However, this has not held back a renewed increase in permanent placements felt across the region. While this increase was not impressive when judged by any other year, it was a stronger rate than the UK average. There was significant feedback from our recruiters of a rise in demand for IT workers in the Manchester region especially.
For temporary billings, it comes as no surprise that there was another marked rise in the number of temp placements being filled across the North West. The rate of this increase actually spiked the sharpest for just over 4 years and was clearly the highest over the other four UK regions.
The number of permanent staff placements in the Midlands region rose the sharpest of all the regions in the UK throughout December and into the New Year. Anecdotally it appears that companies, and especially IT companies, in the area were going ahead and filling vacancies and placements that were put on hold throughout 2020. It seems that projects and the wider industry can no longer wait for things to get better pandemic-wise. Projects must be completed and for that talent must be recruited.
The harsh hiring freeze experienced last year is showing signs of thawing, despite increased concerns over the exit from the EU and increased import regulations. Brexit has played second fiddle to other, more pressing concerns and business has been left to get on with it.
This situation has also led to an increase in temporary billings across the Midlands region. Although not quite as high as our other main area of operation, The North, it was still enough to further extend the current run of increased placements for six consecutive months which keeps it ahead of the UK average.
Earnings outlook from the ONS
The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed that the average weekly earnings across the whole of the UK increased 4% on an annual basis over the third quarter of 2020.
Salaries for new employees rose for the first time since last March, albeit only very slightly. However this is good news for the industry and it demonstrates a clear green shoot of recovery.
IT Jobs in demand right now…