The Confederation of British industry has declared the worst of the recession to be over, but techies are still finding it a struggle to find work, with unemployment not set to peak until next year.
The CBI, which represents almost a quarter of a million companies, said that UK GDP should flatten out in the coming months, with growth returning in the New Year, albeit at just 0.1 per cent in Q1 and 0.3 per cent in Q2. "Trend growth" should be established by the end of next year, the organisation predicted.
CBI director general Richard Lambert said "the harshest period of the recession looks to be behind us, the economy is stabilising and this should continue during the second half of this year."
The CBI said "the labour market is proving to be even more flexible than hoped, with many more private sector employees accepting wage freezes and short-time working than in previous downturns." The organisation said this should limit the pace of job losses, and it now expects unemployment to peak at 3.03 million in Q2 2010, less than previously forecast, before beginning to edge lower.
No surprise then that the IT Jobs Board reports that three quarters of "candidates" say that it is taking longer to find a job, with 58 per cent admitting to "becoming less selective" about the jobs they apply for. As many at 59 per cent have said they would now accept jobs with lower salaries.
Apparently, 72 percent said that they keep up-to-date with IT market information, while 55 percent "use online networking tools." Perhaps a bigger question is what sort of IT pro doesn't pay attention to the market as a whole. It also seems strange that almost half of IT pros are presumably relying on newspaper ads and job centres to find high-tech jobs, rather than using "online networking".
Presumably these candidates will get a nasty surprise when they finally realise that employers have been slashing contractor rates by as much as 20 per cent.
Lambert added, "The return to growth is likely to be a slow and gradual one; difficult credit conditions are still affecting business behaviour. For positive growth to return, lenders need to feel more confident so that credit can start flowing again."
He said that that commentators had been carried away by "recent tentative indicators as evidence of ‘green shoots’", and said that the government had to do everything it could to underpin the economy by helping firms access credit.
The CBI expects the economy to shrink by 4.8 per cent as a whole over the course of the current recession. By contrast, the early 80s recession saw GDP contract 5.9 per cent - though for some it felt even worse, with the likes of Bucks Fizz, Duran Duran, Adam Ant and Tight Fit providing the soundtrack to economic misery. ®