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Project and Programme Managers are expecting a large decrease in both demand and rates in 2009

Press release January 12, 2009 Business

PM7 - 2009 Associate Survey Findings

The results of PM7's 2009 annual Associate survey have been compiled, and the findings do not make pleasant reading for the UK's independent Project Management community.

A staggering 59% of respondents believe that demand for their skills in 2009 will decrease from 2008 levels. This time last year when asked the same question, only 8% of respondents believed demand would decrease year on year.

The outlook on contractor day rates is no better, with nearly two thirds of respondents expecting their day rates to drop in 2009. Of those expecting a drop in rates, nearly one in five expect the rate decrease to be ‘severe'.

Overall, of the independent contractors who completed the survey, forty per cent are budgeting for no more than 9 months work this calendar year. Half of these expect to have contract work for no more than six months of the year.

When asked how they intend to approach the predicted downturn in 2009, almost 50% of respondents replied that they would look for permanent work. This is a surprisingly large amount, given the notoriously independent and flexible nature of contract Project Managers. It will be interesting to see both how they fare in the permanent job market and the affect it may have on competition for permanent roles.

Of the other approaches being considered for avoiding the downturn, a worrying 10% would consider leaving the project management profession entirely. One individual, clearly of a very strong mind, said that he is considering moving to a monastery!