Banks, lawyers and accountants are increasingly relying on temporary staff as jobs for the major professions continue to decline.
The number of available professional jobs in the year to October was 2 per cent down on 2011, according to figures released today by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
However, temporary placements took up the slack with a 4 per cent increase, suggesting that professions from sales to engineering are increasingly relying on contractors. The marketing and media sectors saw particularly big surges in the number of temporary jobs advertised.
APSCo chief executive Ann Swain said the protracted economic downturn had restructured the jobs market. She argued: "Businesses still don't have the confidence to make permanent hires when they can use temporary staff instead.
"Hopefully, the UK's recent positive GDP figures will prove to be a shot in the arm for UK professional service firms and lead to more confident permanent hiring of staff."
The research also showed that public sector and Government jobs had seen the biggest cut in salaries for newly advertised posts over the past year. Pay packets were down 11 per cent as the Government sought to reduce the public deficit through cutting the wage bill.