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Contractor accountant billings at 15 year high, REC says

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation say that job billings have just hit a 15 year high – and right at the top of the heap are accountancy positions.

But wait, there’s more – it turns out that pay rates for contractors are also on the up. Starting salaries are surging forwards once again, with the last high point – October of 2007 – becoming eclipsed. We’ve reached a new high water mark, ladies and gentlemen!

Of course, there’s not all good news when it comes to the revelation. Now, don’t get me wrong – these statistics are absolutely phenomenal! It means that anyone working in the accounting field as a contractor is absolutely in an enviable position, as demand is high for their services and there are no signs of this demand slowing down anytime soon at all, but once you draw the curtain back from the inner economic workings causing this sudden jump things get decidedly less rosy and a bit more bleak.

Yes, the figures do indeed say that the economy needs as many skilled and qualified accountants as it can get its hands on, and it’s willing to pay them handsomely. However, the truth is that this isn’t an indication that the economic recovery has been a full success and we’re just motoring along at a fast clip, building up our economy to pre-recession levels. On the contrary, much of the economic recovery efforts have been slow and sluggish and the only reason contractor accountants are needed so badly is because the skills shortage gripping the country is threatening what little economic recovery we’ve managed to accomplish!

There’s simply not enough workers to go around to support a more robust economic recovery, I’m afraid. That means the firms that need contractors of all stripes – not just accountants – are willing to pay a premium to entice one of the few workers capable of handling the complex processes these companies need to get done in order to stay afloat. If this shortage goes on for too long there simply won’t be enough temporary workers to go around and British firms will have to outsource overseas – and that means we’re likely to see demand for local workers sink like a stone. It’s only a matter of time, or at least I think so, which means you’d better prepare yourselves now!

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