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Stagnant jobs growth forecast for ICT sector

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

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.

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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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