There seems little sign of the IT job market improving, according to the latest report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
The monthly update on recruitment, employment and employee earning trends, sponsored by Deloitte & Touche, found that the number of people placed in permanent jobs by recruitment consultancies fell for the second consecutive month, dropping at the fastest rate since January 2002.
Demand for permanent jobs in the IT and computing sectors witnessed the biggest decline of all the sectors monitored.
Recruitment consultancies blamed the lack of activity on clients putting recruitment decisions on hold while the current economic outlook remains uncertain.
Toni Cocozza, chairman of the Confederation's IT and communications division, explained that the latest report indicated continued caution on the part of employers.
"It further highlights the trend of corporate restructuring as a means of maximising existing human capital resources," she said.
But Cocozza warned that, while short-term cost savings are a necessary evil for many companies, there are disadvantages for the employer in not recruiting new staff.
"New recruits bring with them new ideas and innovation that could make a significant difference to businesses in the current challenging climate," she said.
Improved staff availability, coupled with weaker demand for staff, continued to subdue pay pressures.
Permanent salaries declined slightly for the second consecutive month, while temporary pay rates remained almost unchanged.
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