IT unemployment hits five-year high

sad man with computer

IT pros are still paid better and are more likely to be employed than workers in other sectors, but jobs remain scarce.

So claims industry body e-skills UK, whose latest statistics point to a "challenging time" for anyone looking for an IT role.

Demand for permanent IT and telecoms staff fell by 27 per cent, while contract worker demand slid 32 per cent over the first quarter of the year, falling from 72,000 advertised roles to just 15,000.

Unemployment rates for all IT staff hit a five-year high of 4.8 per cent in the quarter. IT professionals in particular saw unemployment move from 2.4 per cent to 2.4 per cent in the quarter.

That said, the picture is much more cheerful than the rest of the economy, with the whole UK workforce facing an unemployment rate of some 7.3 per cent.

Indeed, e-skills had more good news - at least for those IT pros with a job. Salaries for full-time staff increased by one per cent on a quarter-by-quarter basis and four per cent year-on-year, a shade over the rest of the UK. In addition, five per cent received a bonus during the quarter, two per cent above the UK-wide rate.

"Employment levels in the ICT sector remained at a historically high level and unemployment levels for ICT professionals are still well below the UK average," e-skills UK said in a statement.

"Remuneration levels also remained well above the UK average, illustrating that although demand may be significantly down on previous years, ICT continues to be a desirable and well-rewarded occupation."

Click here to read more about job cuts across the IT sector.