More jobs for IT contractors in the financial services sector

by Editor 7/2/2008 12:11:00 PM

IT contractors have reason to be cautiously optimistic about surviving the current economic crisis. The financial services sector will create more jobs for them than any other sector over the next 12 months.

IT contractors may not have as much confidence in the sector as they used to, but they do believe that it will still be their dominant client by 2009, according to a research conducted by the Giant Group.

The IT hiring freeze and offshoring of IT jobs has left IT departments in big companies significantly thinner. Contractors tend to profit from economic uncertainty, as they are easier to let go than permanent IT employees if things go downhill.

"What we are seeing is a fairly measured response to the downturn," reads a statement from the Giant Group. "Some IT projects which will not yield a short-term return on investment are being given lower priority, but the market hasn’t fallen off a cliff by any means."

"Large organisations [will] strip the 'perm' workforce down, reduce fixed overheads, and look to opt for more project based or ad-hoc staffing solutions, using staff as and when required, in this case potentially contractors," says Nick Hardisty, managing director of Inspired Recruitment, an IT jobs agency.

Matthew Brown, director of the Giant Group, says that there is no sign of panic among contractors, adding: "Sentiment is on the wane, but few are expecting a repeat of the mass bloodletting we saw in the 2001/02 downturn... The general trend in [contractor] joblessness has been upwards. But the proportion of contractors out of work long-term (3 months or more) has remained relatively static at around 4% over the last year. To put this in perspective, 13% of contractors were jobless for three months or more in 2003, so the market is still in reasonable shape."

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