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Accountancy contractors desert public sector as spending cuts loom

Accountancy contractors desert public sector as spending cuts loom

Fewer accountancy contractors out of work

More expect pay to rise

The proportion of accountancy contractors working in the public sector has fallen from 44.2% to 38.6% over the last year as a result of the economic recovery and reductions in the public sector workforce, according to research by giant group plc, the contractor services provider.

Only 30.4% of contractors expect the public sector to produce the most job opportunities over the next 12 months, in comparison with 39.6% in Q3 09.

The research from giant also shows that long term joblessness among accountancy contractors is declining. 6.5% of accountancy contractors are currently out of work for 90 days or more compared to 7.6% a year ago.

Accountancy contractors are also becoming more confident that their earnings will increase over the next 12 months. 63.4% are forecasting their pay will rise compared to 61% 12 months ago.

Matthew Brown, Managing Director of giant group comments: There has been a significant rebalancing of accountancy skills between the public and private sectors over the past year driven by economic growth on the one hand and government cut backs on the other.

The risk for the public sector now is that it will haemorrhage finance skills just at a time when it needs them the most to manage the cuts. Accountants will play a key roll in driving efficiency savings, but the public sector has scant room for manoeuvre when competing for the best candidates with the private sector.

For the first time in two years unemployment among accountancy contractors is declining. Before the credit crunch less than 4% of contractors spent 90 days or more out of work, so the market still has some way to go on the road to recovery.
He adds: With the pool of available contractors drying up, competition for candidates should drive up rates.

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