IT job vacancies in freefall

Demand for permanent IT staff plummeted almost 10% during the third quarter of 2008 according to a report released by e-skills UK, the government’s IT skills council.

The number of advertisements posted for contract positions fell even further: 13% in the third quarter of 2008.

Rates plunged alongside demand, with pay for permanent and contract ICT staff falling one percentage point on the previous quarter. However, programmers and those working with the internet or in systems design enjoyed a small increase on the previous quarter, although the number of job vacancies in each field was down by 6%, 11% and 13% respectively.

The report noted that, while the outlook was generally gloomy, ‘hot skills’ for the current and subsequent quarters appeared to be Fortran, EPOS, Flash and PHP, which featured as requirements in an increasing number of advertisements. DWDM, Dbase and particularly Javascript skills were especially in demand.

The report also tipped ‘test analyst’ as a ‘hot occupation’, with the role registering the largest increase in vacancy numbers.

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