The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has said that despite some relief in unemployment from the Office for National Statistics, in IT, permanent rolls have plunged more than 12 percent while temporary vacancies dropped almost seven percent.
The body said that year on year, to December 2012, there has been a fall of almost ten percent in permanent and temporary vacancies. IT professionals, if they can find the work, are increasingly doing temporary assignments, at 6.5 percent growth year on year.
Chief exec of APSCo, Ann Swain, said in a statement that the wider economic picture isn’t helping. Employers themselves don’t have the cash nor confidence to invest in permanent hires.
“However,” Swain pointed out, “recent data from the PMI Index has revealed that the services sector, which accounts for more than three quarters of economic output, has returned to growth”.
This, Swain said, makes her “bullish” about the first quarter of 2013 “from a hiring perspective”.
A skills shortage has been looming as well, according to a 2012 report from eSkills UK. Employers were, at the time, looking for ICT managers, strategy, and planning professionals, as well as technical skills in SQL, C, C#, .NET and Java. But APSCo’s point is that with the uncertain economic backdrop, even companies who need permanent workers are worried that they will not be able to afford them.