It is more difficult to find a new job in IT than it was one year ago, according to a major study of jobs online.
A consistent decline in IT jobs since February has contributed to the problem, with a 22 percent reduction since that peak. The results for July were three percent down on the previous month, and 12 percent down compared to one year ago.
The statistics are published in the Monster Employment Index for July, which tracks a range of online job boards as well as Monster's own recruitment website.
IT has fared particularly badly, as its decline compares against overall job availability increasing by over five percent in the year. Most other sectors saw gains, except for telecoms which declined a heavy 19 percent, human resources which declined seven percent, sales jobs which were down 13 percent, finance jobs down five percent, and legal jobs down 12 percent.
There were broad year-on-year gains in arts and leisure jobs, as well as construction, architecture, engineering, transport, education, social work, hospitality, research, consulting and marketing.
Two regions were highlighted by Monster as having a dramatic change in job fortunes. Northern Ireland saw the strongest overall growth in job availability, at 30 percent, but much of this was prompted by the growth in financial employment. While jobs in south-west England grew three percent over the year, there have been five straight months of falls to July.
Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster, said: "The UK economy continues to slow and the outlook for the rest of 2008 remains gloomy, meaning tougher conditions in the labor market.
"Given this backdrop, it is not surprising that online recruitment is now moderating, with fewer job offerings than a year ago in areas such as finance, retail and technology."