UK Recession Hits IT Jobs Hardest

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Demand for IT staff is falling significantly faster than the overall drop in the UK as a whole

The percentage of companies looking for new IT staff fell faster than the drop in demand from other sectors according to research.

According to a study released by e-skills UK late last month, demand for IT staff in the UK dropped by 10 percent in the third quarter of 2008, compared to an overall average fall in demand across all other job sectors of just 5 percent.

According to e-skills, a government skills council, there were 161,000 vacancies for UK IT worker s in the third quarter of 2008. This compares to approximately 1.9 million vacancies in the UK job market as a whole in the same period.

“In the last Bulletin we said Q2.08 marked the point when IT and Comms started to get credit crunched and it would appear from the data presented this time around that things were worsening rapidly during the third quarter of the year,” the report stated.

The survey also stated that demand for permanent and contract staff was hit by the downturn with the number of vacancies declining by 9 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Networking appeared to be most hard hit job description, with demand falling by around 17 percent, followed by database skills, down 13 percent, and jobs in PC support falling by around 12 percent, according to e-skills UK.

However the not for profit skills body did point to some IT job roles performing better than others. The demand for “test analysts’ saw the biggest increase during the quarter. Programming and operations positions also saw rises in the number of vacancies, e-skills said.