Software Engineering – UK Tech Labour Market Trends, June 2023

2023 sees a big drop in demand for developers, but .NET is on track to have more vacancies this year than last

Despite the difficult economic climate, companies are still looking to hire exceptional software engineering talent and are prepared to pay a premium for those with the right background and knowledge of sought after programming languages. Nonetheless, 2023 is on track to have 55% less software engineering vacancies than last year, according to the latest Technology report by Robert Walters and labour market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Other Key findings include:

  • The first half of 2023 had 49.7% fewer vacancies compared to the previous six months of 2022;
  • The technology industry was the hardest hit, with development roles dropping 68% compared to the second half of 2022;
  • .NET Developers are bucking the trend with the first half of 2023 and are on course to exceed levels seen in 2022;
  • London in 2023 has seen its national share fall from 51% to 49%, with the West Midlands the most resilient in activity this year.

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Software engineering vacancies in experienced a significant surge in 2022, hitting a record high of almost 11,000, equating to an even higher 26% yearly increase. Given the tech funding squeeze, it is not surprising to see significant drops in 2023 so far.

“As QT has been introduced, the IT industry has been hit hard, with companies downsizing. In reality though, many report that they had perhaps over-hired in the first instance, so this slowdown should be seen through that lens” said James Chaplin, Vacancysoft CEO.

While all main sectors within commerce and industry posted year-on-year rises in 2022, that positive momentum is being eroded in 2023. Employers have clearly put the brakes on hiring activity given the economic slowdown in the UK. Sectors bucking the trend include retail, luxury goods and financial services. Equally no where is growing in activity compared to 2022.

Recruitment for C#.NET Developers are bucking the trend,with the first half of 2023 are on course to exceed levels seen in 2022 (a 3.1% forecast rise), a reflection of the demand for this programming language and Microsoft framework. Other languages worth drawing attention to include Java, where given the necessity of the language for banking remains in demand.

Finally, looking regionally, the West Midlands and East of England are to record the lowest drops in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022 with respective falls of 33.7% and 37.3%.

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