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The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) job market in Australia has shown signs of recovery following a late-quarter lift in demand for ICT skills in New South Wales (NSW). Some recovery has also been noted, but to a lesser extent, in South Australia (SA) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), according to the Peoplebank IT&T Salary Index survey.
Peoplebank CEO, Peter Acheson, commented that the lift in demand in NSW was driven by strong hiring across the spectrum of ICT skillsets, but primarily for business-as-usual tasks, rather than special projects. Mr Acheson also suggested this may indicate that organisations feel that they can no longer defer ‘business-as-usual’ ICT spending and risk falling behind customer expectations.
In NSW, ICT recruitment was strong in the latter part of the 2013 financial year for skills for business-as-usual tasks, but not special projects. Projects in banking, telecommunications and state government sectors lifted to levels at the same period in 2012.
Mr Acheson said: “All of our data – our Salary Survey, Jobs Index, and Peoplebank’s own experience – suggests a market that, bar NSW, has the pause button. Employers tell us they are postponing the start of new projects until after the Federal election, and the broader reality is that, with the general lack of heat in Australia’s economy, there is little market pressure to speed ahead with their ICT strategies.”
In the state of Victoria, recruitment across utilities, mining, and enterprise organisations was generally reduced, while the Small-Medium Enterprise market is described as patchy. Demand in the state is strongest for individuals with niche skillsets.
Peoplebank reported that ICT recruitment in Western Australia has been largely stalled as a result of subdued mining sector activity, although computer testers, business analysts, as well as Sharepoint and .Net developers are in-demand.
The ACT experienced incremental growth, reaching levels slightly behind the previous year’s outcome. SA saw a similar hiring lift in late June, but while there was growth among vendors and the financial services sector, there was a decline in state government, business, and residential spending.
While Peoplebank reported that the Queensland market remained flat, it advised that demand for ICT contractors has halved, and permanent roles have also dropped.
According to Acheson, however, there are early signs of resurgence, and some companies across Australia have signalled they will be making ICT investments in the medium to longer term.