Boom time for product and industrial market

Product and industrial designers are enjoying a boom in employment unknown since 1990, according to new research by recruitment services group MSL.

In the first quarter of 1996, the job market for industrial designers increased by 83 per cent compared with the three months to the end of 1995. And the freelance market is also showing signs of buoyancy.

The quarterly index reveals that the research and development/design sector is at its highest since the second quarter of 1990, increasing 20 per cent over this year.

This is no surprise to recruitment consultancy Price Jamieson. “It’s not hard to gain 83 per cent from a very low base, the market has been particularly dead over the past four years,” says Ashley Goodall, design division manager.

Price Jamieson has withdrawn from the industrial design recruitment market as “there was no business there. Product designers have had a hard ride in the last few years”, says Goodall.

MSL group chairman Garry Long says that demand for industrial designers has “increased enormously”. He confirms that the figures “in the main refer to product design, though they may include some graphic design work”.

The freelance market is “quite strong” in the industrial design arena, though more so in graphics, according to Long, who says there is “a lot of insecurity about the future, despite general business confidence, so the flexibility of freelances is in demand”.

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