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Contractor use declines as permanent placements rise
by Susie Hughes at 13:49 29/01/18 (News on Business)
Professional recruitment firms reported that demand for contractors decreased across every one of the core sector groups. Vacancies within engineering, for example, slipped by just three per cent, while demand within IT and marketing fell more significantly (by nine and 22 per cent respectively).
According to research by agency group APSCo, the overall number of contractors out on assignment dipped by 15 per cent during the same period. This can largely be attributed to a significant 36 per cent year-on-year fall in IT professionals working on a contract basis during this time.

These findings are in line with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, which found that the total number of self-employed workers decreased by 82,000 in the three months to November 2017.

Financial services
Financial services sector in particular seems to be swapping contractors for permanent talent. This follows a period of increased contractor use within the sector amid the heightened uncertainty which followed the EU referendum.

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Contract vacancies within financial services decreased by three per cent year-on-year in December 2017 while the number of finance interims out on assignment dipped by two per cent over the same period.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said: “The robust growth in permanent placements witnessed in December has been accompanied by a weakening in contractor markets as hiring companies opt for security of talent, against a backdrop of growing skills shortages in professional markets.

“This is particularly true within financial services, where demand for permanent staff has skyrocketed over the past year. This can most likely be attributed to enhanced confidence in the sector following fresh predictions that Brexit will not impact demand for talent within the square mile to the extent that many previously feared.”


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