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Contract market remains slow
by Susie Hughes at 10:55 22/08/18 (News on Business)
Demand for contractors continued to slow in July 2018, with vacancies decreasing by seven per cent across the board, according to data from agency body APSCo.
The number of contractors out on assignment in July 2018 was 15 per cent lower than the previous year.

Despite this overall dip, the contract market within financial services remains strong with demand for non-permanent professionals up 27 per cent year-on-year across the sector. The number of finance contractors out on assignment increased by three per cent in July 2018.

This strength is likely to be attributed to Brexit uncertainty, with some firms hesitant to increase permanent headcount until there is more clarity around service exports once Britain leaves the union.

IT contractors move to perm
The most significant swing in hiring activity can be seen within the IT sector, where the number of contractors out on assignment plummeted by 33 per cent year-on-year in July 2018. Permanent placements within the sector, meanwhile, increased by the same percentage over the same period.

This can likely be attributed to recent changes to legislation around off-payroll working in the public sector, and the possibility that these rules will soon be extended to the private sector.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said: "While overall hiring activity remains strong, the current climate is certainly creating interesting activity in the market. Britain’s exports of financial services to the European Union hit a record high last year, and although firms need talent to meet demand, many are understandably reluctant to bring on board permanent talent.

"However, while contractor demand within financial services is booming, IT professionals seem to be turning to permanent positions. While changes, and proposed amends, to IR35 will certainly have played a hand in this shift, it is unclear if it is largely employers – or the professionals themselves – who are leading this revolution.”

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2018

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