The decline in the IT jobs market eased last month marginally, according to data released by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG.

The slight slowdown in the rate of decline affected both permanent and contractor sectors, the Recruitment Industry Survey said.

The report uses a figure to represent demand, where anything below 50 indicates a drop on the previous month. The figure for permanent staff in March was 31.9, one of the worst falls in the history of the report.

In April, the decline was slightly less severe, at 33.1.

The fall in new jobs in the temporary sector was slightly better, up from 31.9 in March to 36.1 in April. But the figures still represented heavy falls.

In spite of the continued fall in new permanent and temporary IT jobs, the sector fared better than engineering, financial services, secretarial and blue collar sectors.

In a report that highlighted the possible first green shoots of a recovery, the authors said that pay across sectors decreased at the slowest rate since January. But there was “continued hesitancy” among firms considering hiring staff.

“These figures show that the jobs market isn’t declining at the same speed that it has in previous months and that recruiters are feeling slightly more optimistic about job prospects,” said Kevin Green, chief executive at the REC. “The government must do all it can to maintain this optimism by protecting the UK’s highly successful, flexible labour market.”