IT jobs stagnate in October

Olivier show advertised ICT positions fall along with the general jobs market thanks to rising interest rates and an uncertain market

IT jobs are stagnant thanks to rising interest rates and market uncertainty, according to the latest Olivier Job Index.

Advertised ICT positions fell 0.78 per cent in October, but this was relatively minor compared to the overall jobs market, which fell by 1.67 per cent in the same period. This represented year-on-year drops of 46.96 and 44.44 per cent respectively.

Victorian IT job ads reduced by 2.1 per cent, but the ACT joined NSW in recovering throughout October. Software development jobs were up 0.6 per cent while network communications positions rose by 1.9 per cent. Management sales jobs fell a minor 1.9 per cent but Internet graphics and multimedia positions suffered a drop of 12 per cent.

Although the minor interest rate rises recorded in October were not directly to blame, Olivier Group director, Robert Olivier, said speculation surrounding future increases was.

“The uncertainty created by rate rise talk is more damaging to business confidence and hiring intention than the actual act of doing it,” he said. “The retailers are going, ‘am I going to sell at Christmas or am I not? Do I take on some casual staff or do I not?’ and then that works its way through the manufacturers. It cascades its way through.”

The fall in business ICT spending was also coupled with the Government’s push to save costs by slashing IT jobs and procurement, resulting in bad news for the industry.

“It’s not going to increase in the first quarter, it’s just not there. I think if the rest of the market picks its way out early in 2010, then you’ll see IT do a little bit more and maybe there’ll be that kind of pre- June 30 rise,” Olivier said.

“I still think we’ve got positive things coming our way and I think the IT sector should follow the rest on a lag basis in three to six months so give it till second quarter 2010.”