U.K. IT Job Market Shows Growth

IT salaries are up 5% and job openings up 500,000 over the past six months, finds Adzuna survey.
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Though chancellor George Osborne's claim last week that the British economy has "left intensive care" may be colored by political optimism, at least one part of the nation's workforce may finally be seeing the end of the tough times: technology.

British IT professional salaries grew 5% -- the most of any other advertised way of making a living in the country -- in the six months from November 2012 to May 2013, said Adzuna, a search firm that says its sifted enough market data to know.

And the sector also enjoyed the highest growth in terms of job openings, too -- 500,000 -- claimed Adzuna, which collects every online job vacancy and analyzes the data in real time from some 300 distinct sources. Next highest was the construction sector, cited as a key market for boosting economic growth, where the number of vacancies spotted by Adzuna rose 3.7% over the six months it studied.

Monday, it released its latest U.K. Employment Market Report, which analyzes work and salary trends via crunching published job board data and advertisements. Its data suggests the average advertised British salary in May 2013 was 1.7% lower than 12 months ago -- or down just under £600 ($925) for the year, to a current position of £33,617 ($51,846). Once inflation is taken into account, it said, the average advertised salary fell by 4.4%, or £1,504 ($2,320), in real terms since May 2012.

However, IT sector average salaries are much better, at an average of £43,127 ($66,514), and the study claims "the U.K. is making strides in its journey towards becoming a high-tech economy."

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Across the board, the group sees British employers maintaining control and pressure on employees. Its head of research, Flora Lowther, noted, "Rather than making redundancies and freezing hiring, employers are keeping a lid on the wages of existing employees and hiring new staff at lower salary levels."

Still, it says competition for vacancies is easing. There are now 3.2 jobseekers for every vacancy, down from 3.5 in April. Also, unemployment fell by 2.8% to 1.5 million from April to May, a 6% drop from the same period last year.

Venture-backed Adzuna was founded in 2011 by British veterans of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla. Adzuna claims its data is behind the Number 10 Dashboard, used by the prime minister and senior officials to keep track of economic growth on a daily basis.