Number of IT jobs advertised falls

The number of IT jobs being advertised fell 7.7 per cent in the second quarter, and 8.6 per cent in the third quarter, according to data from Parity.

The recruitment and training firm added that contract vacancies had fallen by 13.3 per cent in the last quarter, and were down 30 per cent this year.

While some other surveys have suggested IT jobs are staying strong, Parity's chief executive Alwyn Welch disagrees. "Overall I think there's a decline in IT jobs, despite what statistics may or may not say."

Permanent salaries were static since January, but up 3.2 per cent compared to last year. Contractor salaries were also holding steady, though the firm warned that advertised rates might not be what freelancers end up getting paid in the end.

The most demanded tech skills were all products used by developers, with SQL coming out on top.

Over the past three years, demand for technicians has fallen by 15 per cent, while the need for managers has jumped eight per cent. Parity said that security roles, systems integrators and efficiency experts would all remain in demand, as would anyone in roles to do with regulatory requirements.

Welch added that senior-level IT pros were still in more demand than junior-level workers. He said this was partly because of offshoring, but also because new systems often require less people to do the day-to-day managing.

Unsurprisingly, financial IT jobs have fallen off the most, seeing a 15 per cent drop in demand in the last quarter. Parity said it saw evidence that IT services companies were also looking to cut jobs.

Such job cuts would cause trouble for CIOs, who need to explain why some people are staying on while others are made redundant. "How do you explain to your team that these people need to go when you're hiring people over there?" asked Welch.

Some sectors are keeping strong, however. Healthcare, energy and the public sector are all robust, Parity said, adding the latter will likely be the last area to be hit by a recession which could benefit that sector. "While it's likely to get worse, some organisations will get great opportunities to get skills at a lower cost than before," explained Alan Rommell of Parity Resources.