Nearly half the IT organisations surveyed by an Australian recruitment firm will be looking for staff over the next quarter, with jobs "plentiful for core computer and IT and sales roles".
According to the TMP Worldwide Job Index released this week, 47.4 per cent of IT companies will be increasing their staffing numbers over the next quarter, while 8.9 per cent will be decreasing staff, which gives a net result of 38.6 per cent.
These figures are down 16.2 per cent over the previous quarter, and down 19.5 percentage points over the same period last year.
According to Ian James, TMP (formerly Morgan & Banks) technology recruitment director, large IT employers with more than 200 staff members are more concerned about the current economic climate than any other organisational size with a net effect reported of 17.2 per cent. This is down a whopping 31 percentage points over the previous survey and 44.3 percentage points over the November 2000 quarter.
"We are seeing people being retrenched from under-performing companies, so people are moving around, or some are taking a break - which may not be a bad thing.
"There is no panic in the marketplace," James said.
"There is a general feeling Q3 and 4 will be dramatically different to the beginning of this year with revenues on the increase and a lot more spending going on - therefore employment."
The recruiter surveyed 6328 employers nationally to formulate the TMP Job Index, which covers the employment intentions of employers of more than three million employees.
James said while the IT industry is still a leader in employment optimism compared to other industries, in isolation, the IT industry is a "roller coaster".
And, according to James, the largest drop in optimism has emanated from the two most populous states, NSW and Victoria.
"A net 35.9 per cent of NSW IT employers will be hiring new staff in the next quarter; this is down 30.2 percentage points over the November 2000 survey," he said.
"In Victoria, a net 36.1 per cent of IT employers intend to create new jobs in the following three months, which is down 37.9 percentage points over the November 2000 survey."
James said Queensland employers, however, are going "completely against the national trend" with a massive net effect of 73.9 per cent recorded, up 28.6 percentage points over the previous survey.