The Australian ICT jobs market has shown signs of recovery following a late-quarter lift in demand for ICT skills in NSW, and to a lesser extent SA and the ACT, according to Peoplebank.
Peoplebank is an Australian information technology and telecommunications recruitment company. It specialises in placing professionals in executive, contract, and permanent roles.
Peoplebank CEO, Peter Acheson, said the lift in demand in NSW was driven by strong hiring across the spectrum of ICT skillsets, but primarily for business-as-usual tasks, rather than special projects.
Acheson suggests this means organisations consider they can no longer defer ‘business-as-usual’ ICT spend at risk of falling behind customer expectations.
Although the 2012-13 financial year ended on a slightly softer note than the previous year, the number of ICT jobs advertised in June was down from May on a national basis. This was particularly the case in mining, retail, and manufacturing organisations.
“All of our data – our Salary Survey, Jobs Index, and Peoplebank’s own experience – suggests a market that, bar NSW, has the pause button,” Acheson said.
“Employers tell us they are postponing the start of new projects until after the Federal election, and the broader reality is that, with the general lack of heat in Australia’s economy, there is little market pressure to speed ahead with their ICT strategies.”
In Victoria, hiring patterns across utilities, mining, and enterprise organisations were generally reduced, while the SME market has been patchy. Demand in the state is strongest for individuals with niche skillsets.
Peoplebank said WA has been largely paused as a result of subdued mining sector activity, although testers business analysts, and Sharepoint and .Net developers are in-demand.
The ACT has experienced incremental growth, reaching levels slightly behind the previous year’s outcome. SA saw a similar hiring lift in late June, but while there was growth among vendors and the financial services sector, there was a decline in state government, business, and residential spending.
While Peoplebank deems the Queensland market flat, it said demand for ICT contractors has halved, and permanent roles have also dropped.
It is not all bad news. According to Acheson, there are early signs of resurgence, and some companies across Australia have signalled they will be making ICT investments in the medium to longer term.