light bulb

IT staff with developer skills continued to be in short supply last month, according to the latest labour market report.

The ‘Report on Jobs’ by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, also found that permanent systems analysts and IT sales staff were also in short supply in April. The report is based on a survey of 400 UK recruitment consultants.

Generally, the report found that while permanent staff placements continued to rise "strongly" in April, it was at a slower pace than the previous month. Meanwhile, the number of vacancies for temporary staff increased at the sharpest rate since January 2008. The number of people looking for jobs continued to rise in April, though at a slower rate than in March.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said: “The latest figures show that the UK jobs market is continuing on the road to recovery albeit at a slower pace than the prvious month.”

The jobs report uses a figure to represent demand, where anything below 50 indicates a drop on the previous month. Permanent IT staff (64.6) saw the second highest growth in demand in April, behind the demand for executive and professional staff (64.7). The figure was down slightly from 65.1 in March.

Meanwhile, the growth in demand for contract IT staff ranked fourth (57.1), a fall from second place in March (58.5). Demand for engineering and construction staff had finally managed to knock demand for contract secretarial staff from the top of the table.

Furthermore, the public sector recession that the researchers had been warning about for months, has finally hit the jobs market. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the public sector recorded 14,000 redundancies across the whole public sector in Q4 2009, a drop of 2,000 on the previous quarter and the lowest figure since Q1 2009. However, the report said that public sector redundancies are expected to rise in coming years due to cuts in government spending.

“It is now becoming increasingly clear that the long-predicted public sector recession has started to hit the jobs market and therefore the upwards trend we have seen over the last couple of months may come to a halt,” said Brown.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, added: “Private sector employers have used short-time work, sabbaticals and pay freezes as a means of reducing costs whilst retaining high-performing staff. Innovative resourcing strategies will be equally crucial within the public sector.”