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Upturn in job confidence for accountancy contractors

Upturn in job confidence for accountancy contractors
Shift towards favouring higher hourly pay over long term contracts

Accountancy contractors are increasingly confident about their job prospects, despite lingering uncertainty over the economy, according to a new survey conducted by giant group plc, the contractor services provider.

The research from giant shows that long term joblessness among accountancy contractors is also in decline, with the proportion out of work for 90 days or more standing at just 8.1% in Q1 2011, down from 8.6% on Q1 2010.

The decline in long term joblessness, combined with growing optimism about the jobs market, is leading to gradual change in what contractors look for in a contract. The proportion of contractors who would prefer longer contracts over higher hourly pay has dropped from 63.3% in Q1 2010 to 59.8% in Q1 2011.

The shift towards higher hourly pay is evidence that contractors are becoming less concerned about being out of work for extended periods of time, explains giant.

Matthew Brown, Managing Director of giant, comments: Finance departments were squeezed post credit-crunch and many remain understaffed. Organisations are slowly ramping up staffing levels and this is reflected in falling unemployment among accountancy contractors. The question is: what impact will the cull likely to hit public sector finance departments have on demand over the next year?

With the health of the economy still uncertain, employers remain reluctant to increase permanent headcounts, but there is now a need to kick-start projects that were stalled during the recession. This may lead to greater use of contractors in the medium term as employers respond to spikes in workload by making greater use of contingent staff.

The research from giant also shows that the percentage of accountancy contractors expecting their pay to decline has dropped from 15.4% to 11.5% over the past year.

Matthew Brown says: As competition for contractors intensifies this will relieve downward pressure on rates. Rate cuts which many contractors had to endure during the recession should become much less likely as demand picks up.

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