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Is 2014 the Year of the IT Contractor?

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As we embark upon 2014, we know that the Chinese are celebrating the Year of the Horse, but could it be that as the year unravels, it will also be the Year of the IT Contractor? As confidence in the Economy increases, so do the prospects and optimism of the UK’s population of Contractors. Contractors in all sectors will begin to feel the benefits of a more buoyant economic climate but it would seem that life is looking particularly rosy for those contractors whose skills are in IT. According to ContractorUK this month, 67% of its readers think that their pay and placements will increase in 2014, reflecting the views of other surveys conducted within the sector.

In response to positive economic data and growing business confidence,
forward-thinking companies will be looking to take advantage of this renewed optimism to grow their businesses. In turn, this will trigger a need to ensure that they are ready to cope with increases in demand for their product or service.

As a result, companies will either be looking to expand or update their existing IT systems. Recruitment consultants supplying IT contractors were already beginning to see evidence of this towards the end of 2013 as companies recruited IT contractors in preparation for computer projects due to start in January 2014. Labour market figures supported their observations by showing December 2013 to be the most buoyant month for IT contractors since August 1998.

This month ContractorUK has also reported that IT contractors have already seen a decrease in the amount of downtime between their assignments, with more than 80% of the IT workers now spending no longer than 31 days without work before their next contract begins, indicating downtime to be at it shortest for two years.

With demand for their skills ensuring that IT contractors are not short of assignments, the likely pay increase they’ll enjoy in 2014 will simply be the cherry on the cake; simple economics will cause an upward shift in pay structures as demand begins to outstrip supply.

An increased demand for their skills and a resulting increase in their rates of pay, together with an employment culture that no longer seems to favour permanent employment in times of economic stability, would certainly indicate that the future’s bright. Bring on the Year of the IT contractor!

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