The Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) latest employment report has found the ICT jobs market remain buoyant and full-time work opportunities are being retained despite the tougher broader economic conditions.
According to the group’s ICT employment survey in March-June 2009, 24.7 per cent of respondents experienced unemployment in the past five years, down from 29 per cent in 2007. The improvement indicated the global financial slowdown has had little impact to date on the proportion of ICT professionals who are employed full-time, ACS said in a statement.
The current IT job market was only slightly lower than in 2007, but the number of hours worked is dropping, ACS claimed. It found 65 per cent of ICT professionals worked more than 40 hours per week, which was the same as in 2007, while fewer employees are working for longer than 50 hours per week.
Several integrators speaking to ARN said they continued to prefer hiring full-time workers. Dimension Data corporate communications manager, Martin Aungle, said that while there had been a reduction in recruitment volumes in the past year, the mix between fulltime, part-time and contracted work remained the same.
NSC managing director, Craig Neil, said the networking integrator had not experienced any dramatic changes in its workforce mix in the last 12 months, but admitted it was reducing the amount of work outsourced.
“We’re planning to hire more full-time employees,” he said. “It’s the overwhelming majority of our workforce – only around 10 of the 190 staff are part-time, and those are predominantly working mothers.
“We used to have more contracted work, but 8-10 years ago there were tax law changes that reduced that.” The combination of a strengthening economy and a low staff churn rate of less than one per cent would keep its employment structure static in the foreseeable future, Neil added.
Distributor giant, Ingram Micro, also predominantly employs full-time staff. Sales director, John Walters, said the structure had not changed in the past 12 months and was not likely to in the future.
“The only temporary staff we have are in our distribution centre to even out peaks and troughs,” he said. ACS’ findings somewhat contradict market data from several organisations claiming IT jobs suffered from a major drop during the financial downturn. But most agree signs of recovery are now starting to appear.