Finance IT jobs jump despite worries

The number of IT jobs being advertised in the financial sector has jumped by a third, despite the investment banks taking a hard hit from the credit crunch.

According to statistics from IT staffing firm ReThink Recruitment, there were 36 per cent more new IT jobs in the finance sector this year compared to last year.

But the number of new jobs at investment banks has dropped 18 per cent over the past year, meaning such banks now account for 37 per cent of IT jobs in the sector, compared to 61 per cent last year.

Jon Butterfield, managing director of ReThink Recruitment, said: "Investment banks are freezing IT spending in some areas, as they scale back their expansion plans. Growth in demand elsewhere, however, such as compliance and risk management, in response to the credit crunch and the Socit Gnrale scandal, is providing some ballast to the market."

IT jobs in the sector are being supported by a boost in retail banking, which saw an increase in job advertisements from 12 per cent to 16 per cent. Other areas - including insurance, fund management and hedge funds - also saw increases in the number of IT jobs advertised.

Butterfield said: "There are now so many hedge funds chasing a diminishing number of market anomalies that IT is becoming a vital weapon in boosting competitive advantage, so despite difficult trading conditions, hedge funds need to invest in IT more than ever."

He said IT professionals should take comfort in the news that demand of their skills is significantly greater than it was last year.

The Confederation of British Industry warned earlier this month that the sector could face massive job cuts because of a weakening economy.