Surprise plunge in financial sector IT contractor jobs

The number of jobs offered to IT contractors in the financial services sector dropped 47 percent in August, a report from pre-employment screening firm Powerchex has revealed.

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The number of jobs offered to IT contractors in the financial services sector dropped 47 percent in August, a report from pre-employment screening firm Powerchex has shown.

This fall is significantly steeper than the fall experienced by IT contractors in July, when the number of jobs fell 29 percent.

However, in July, the total number of job offers in the financial services sector had increased by 15 percent. In August, as well as the fall in IT jobs, overall recruitment activity in the sector fell by around 10 percent, the first month-on-month decrease so far this year.

“While a small summer lull in recruitment activity is not uncommon, the decline has wrong-footed analysts and has business leaders concerned,” Powerchex said.

Also, a year-on-year comparison shows that the number of IT contractor jobs available in the sector in August 2010 had fallen a massive 74 percent compared with August 2009.

Alexandra Kelly, managing director of Powerchex, said: “The current market turbulence is causing havoc for IT contractors looking to work in the financial services sector, with the number of available placement opportunities fluctuating substantially every month.

“Opportunities within financial services peaked in June, up 187 percent since the beginning of the year, but have slumped 62 percent in the two months since.”

According to the Powerchex report, between July and August 2010, job offers for investment managers, stock brokers and investment bankers had all experienced a fall.

Only the number of jobs in insurance (up nine percent) and hedge funds (up 38 percent) increased.

Meanwhile, this month’s ‘Report on Jobs’ by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed that key IT contractor skills reported to be in short supply were general IT workers, CAD designers and business analysts.

In terms of permanent staff, skills reported in short supply, these included business analysts and .Net developers.

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