Strengthening demand for ICT contractors is a sign the IT job market is improving, according to the Peoplebank quarterly IT&T salary survey.
Based on salaries of permanent and contractor ICT workers for the April to June 2009 period, the survey showed while still soft, an increase in contractor employment opportunities suggests the IT job market is improving.
Survey results found contractor levels rose by 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter and are forecast to continue rising into July. New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia showed the biggest signs of market improvement. Victoria, Queensland and the ACT experienced weaker growth.
In a statement, Peoplebank COO, Peter Acheson, said the rise in contractor opportunities reflected strengthening economic conditions and recovery in the ICT sector as organisations move ahead with new projects.
In its May survey, only six of the company’s top 50 clients indicated positive hiring intentions. Twenty-four of clients implemented hiring freeze. This was in sharp contrast to the June survey, which found 19 had positive hiring intentions and only 12 had hiring freezes.
The trend towards greater contractor opportunity is estimated to have a flow-on effect leading to an increase in demand for project execution skills in the medium term, the statement said.
Acheson said the trend also reflected a move by some companies to a contract-based workforce in order to respond quickly to strengthening market conditions.
The Peoplebank survey follows on from news earlier this month that IT job ads are still falling according to the June results of the Olivier Job Index and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures, which indicated unemployment rose in May by 0.2 per cent to hit 5.7 per cent.