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Stagnant jobs growth forecast for ICT sector

Date

Sylvia Pennington

Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

ICT jobs market is expected to grow by less than 1 per cent.

Not many ads... ICT jobs are expected to grow minimally this year.

Not many ads... ICT jobs are expected to grow minimally this year.

When does 'slow' become officially stagnant?

Today sees the release of another employment report revealing what many people working in technology already knew – that the good times stopped rolling some time ago and won't be back any time soon.

According to the latest quarterly employment report by the Fairfax-owned job site My Career, the ICT jobs market is expected to grow by less than 1 per cent in the year to November 2012.

Around 524,000 people are currently working in the sector, with this figure set to rise to only 529,000 by year's end.

It's a far cry from the ICT industry's hey-day of 8 per cent growth in the late 90s, and the pre-GFC years when four to eight per cent expansion was the norm.

The MyCareer report follows last month's job advertisement survey by the ANZ Bank which revealed modest growth of 2.8 per cent in the number of jobs advertised in the year to date.

Resource powerhouses Queensland and Western Australia are responsible for keeping a growing number of ICT staff gainfully employed, with the latter recording a 13.3 per cent growth in IT jobs in the past year. The number of jobs in Victoria shrank by 1.6 per cent over the same period and grew by just 0.5 per cent in NSW.

MyCareer report author Michael Emerson said the fortunes of the ICT industry were linked with those of the wider business sector. European and US debt crises had seen confidence battered and IT investment relegated to the discretionary spending basket since last August, Emerson said. Up to that point the sector had been experiencing a slow recovery, since the dark days of 2008, when the GFC was in full swing.

'The ICT sector is one that does well in good times and it's an area that gets cut when budgets are cut," Emerson said.

ICT trainers, web designers and sales people were likely to see increasing demand for their services over the period, he added.

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12 comments so far

  • So given the IT job market is dying and wil not ever recover - why is our government allowing Australian companies to import foreign IT workers as well as to off-shore IT work? >500,000 well paid white-collar workers bring a low of tax dollars to the goverment and therefore to Australian society. Is it not worth protecting and investing in IT for Australia? Half a million out-of-work IT professionals will be a large burden on society.

    Commenter
    acidic
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    May 04, 2012, 11:37AM
    • ICT positions here will continue to be offshored to cheaper pay regimes, executive bonuses say so and there is doodly that will stop it. I can't compete price wise with a Phillipine, Malay or other asian coders who, quite frankly, are equal and if not better than I. Although my nose is out of joint, there is a fairness about this I quite like, but it does erode our national skill base and remove money from our economy.

      Commenter
      Mr Pod
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      May 05, 2012, 10:14PM
  • IT is a important Backbone to Australian Economy in Major Cities.
    500,000 at Average 70k a year equates to 35000000000 , 350 Billion a year before everyone takes a slice of it.

    You never hear IT workers complain and whinge
    IT workers are here to help improve efficiency, so we are not reliant on labour shortages.
    It reduces cost in every manner possible.

    This sector should be better invested in, and sold to the world

    Commenter
    Cayman
    Date and time
    May 04, 2012, 3:12PM
    • "You never hear IT workers complain and whinge"
      What!! I'm an IT worker who's in charge of a bunch of other IT workers and we whinge all the time. Cynicism is almost a prerequisite to getting a qualification.

      Commenter
      Patrickb
      Date and time
      May 04, 2012, 5:59PM
  • Wish I could hit Like on acidic's post.

    http://www.nationalvisas.com.au/skilled/eligibleskilledoccupations.htm

    Analyst Programmer
    Developer Programmer
    ICT Business Analyst
    Software Engineer
    Systems Analyst

    Complements of the Australian Computer Society (oh alright, we need to give the government credit for their rank incompetency!). Some industries have unions who protect them, IT has quite the opposite.

    Commenter
    David
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    May 04, 2012, 3:38PM
    • Damn right on the ACS - they are just a front to get more Skilled Visa Applicants in.
      They have the ear of the minister. Don't join them.

      Commenter
      Maro
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 04, 2012, 4:40PM
    • I agreed with you. First ACS told the government that we needed more technical people (as there is a shortage). That destoryed the computer market (salary & education) by their intake of overseas staff. Outsourcing (liberals solutions to everything) was also the recommended. The value of ICT is worthless to pursue. Hence, no students want to study ICT in Australia. ACS do not see the total picture. It is run by business people, who does not reflect growing ICT in Australia. ACS needs to wake up, and solve this problem as a total solution, rather than trying to impress their status. Again, all this is due to poor management and lack of foresight.

      Commenter
      Agree
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      May 05, 2012, 12:05PM
  • I agree with you. Australia computer Society (ACS) have failed in the analysis of the job market. Their poor briefing to the government has destroyed the ICT market in Australia (both in education and professionalism). The Australian ICT market needs a new solution. I would suggest that you can only work in Australia if you have got high certification from an Australian Institute (be it ACS, or others). This will weed of duds, and encourage Australians to go back into ICT. At this moment, ACS do not have Australian ICT in interest. They are taking the view of the business and trying to reduce salary (cost) for the business. Thank you ACS.

    Commenter
    Agree
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 05, 2012, 12:58PM
    • I cannot understand a defeatism mentality.
      How about if the government helps local IT companies to expand abroad ? Yes, of course, not to expand to Greece or Spain that are in a deep recession, but I think, even in a time of crisis in the world there should be some possibilities. I guess Julia Gillard has some very well paid consultants that have a bit of knowledge about globalisation, or at least more knowledge about it than IT workers ?

      Commenter
      IT Worker
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 05, 2012, 4:34PM
      • @David May 04, 2012, 3:38PM

        APESMA (The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists & Managers, Australia) has an IT arm - which I found very helpful when I worked in IT.

        Commenter
        Davidson
        Location
        St Kilda
        Date and time
        May 05, 2012, 9:00PM

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