IT Jobs Report November – Stick or Twist?

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IT Jobs Report November – Stick or Twist?

While many business leaders will be concerned about the quality and depth of the current IT labour pool, the question for many candidates becomes one of either ticking or twisting in their choice of new job roles. There are benefits for those that do, but for clients and candidates alike there is a greater political question in the balance.

Will The December 2019 Election be a ‘Jobs Election’?

The leaders of both parties say yes, but then they always do don’t they?

According to Neil Carberry Chief Executive of the REC, ‘businesses are still waiting to hear the starting gun, and until there is some certainty around Brexit and the election, employers continue to stall on creating vacancies and making permanent hires.”

What is also key is that IT candidates are starting to become more cautious about making a career change. While those that do take the plunge are finding themselves being able to demand better pay and more attractive benefits packages too. 

However, the coming election will need to be more concerned with jobs, or more specifically creating them and/or overcoming the lack of enough candidates (in all sectors) to fill the available roles. The current employment level is the highest it has ever been and vacancy lists are still long and unfilled. So much so that permanent placement growth has dropped for the eight month in a row. 

The deeper issues have to be addressed to secure the UK’s future and this includes falling productivity and skills shortages. Solving these problems must be top of the government’s to-do list once and if the Brexit deadlock has been breached.

In fact the REC’s own employment manifesto, released earlier this month urged the need to support and enhance the UK’s flexible labour market – so as to allow all businesses to create jobs, and for employees to build careers. All of which will combine to help the economy grow.

IT Sector Still Performing in the North

For the IT sector the caution isn’t as acutely seen as it has been in other sectors, most notably Finance, Hospitality and Services. There was a higher growth in vacancies in IT than in any other sector, proving that IT remains a resilient performer in the UK jobs market. However, this belies the figures on candidate availability, as candidates remain as reluctant as they have ever been in applying for and taking up new roles.

The phrase the Northern Powerhouse has been batted around in politics for over a decade now, but most people don’t recognise it as a thing, unless we are talking about HS2, which is a decisive point of contention (which we won’t be going into).  However Northern businesses are still progressing with expansion. This made the region actually experience a solid increase in job role availability. This, despite many IT clients going so far as to postpone or even cancel staff hiring. 

Pay Figures From the ONS

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that average weekly earnings across the UK rose 3.4% on an annual basis to £640 in the second quarter of 2019. Wales saw the strongest increase in earnings during the second quarter, posting a 9.2% rise to £576. The North East was the only region to note reduced pay compared to the previous year, with earnings down -2.3% to £537.

Figures taken from IHS Markit

Starting salaries for permanent workers across the UKcontinued to increase in September, with the rate of salary inflation quickening from August. The increase was sharp overall, and broad-based across the four monitored English regions. All four saw a broadly similar rate of salary inflation. Meanwhile, temporary pay across the UK also continued to rise, with the latest data signalling a solid rise in temporary wages. That said, the increase was the slowest seen since November 2016 and below the series average. Inflationary pressures were weakest in London, whilst the Midlands reported the fastest rate of growth in temporary worker remuneration.

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