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Aussie ICT industry strong, according to new figures

17 Mar 2016

The Australian ICT industry remains strong, with a 10% growth in job advertisements for February 2016 compared to the same month a year ago. 

Cyber security specialists are also in hot demand.

New figures from SEEK show the number of new job ads across all industries increased 5.7% from February 2015 year on year to February 2016.

According to SEEK Employment managing director Michael Ilczynski, buoying this increase are the eastern states, which show strong year on year growth.

The two largest employing states New South Wales and Victoria are up 11.6% and 6.8% respectively, while Queensland has shown promising signs of recovering from the mining downturn with new job ads up 3.9% over the 12 months.

South Australia is up 7.7%m and Tasmania and ACT also posted strong year on year growth, up 10.7% and 26.3% respectively.

“It is encouraging to see strong year on year growth across almost all states and territories in Australia and also that the growth is driven through a wide variety of industries,” Ilczynski says.

“Twenty four out of 28 industries on SEEK experienced increases in job advertising over the past 12 months,” he says.

According to the figures, the Information & Communications Technology industry remains strong nationwide, experiencing 10% year on year growth to February 2016.

Ilczynski says that, at a state level, the growth in job ads in the ICT sector reflects the overall health of the employment market nationwide.

“Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland, ACT and New South Wales all experienced double digit growth in ICT job ads,” he says.

“New South Wales which has the largest number of opportunities advertised increased by 10% year on year.

“There are now over 7,500 ICT jobs advertised through New South Wales, which is fantastic for those looking for work in that industry,” Ilczynski adds.

Given the challenging employment market in Western Australia, Ilczynski says it is not surprising to see ICT roles declined year on year.

“We are not surprised to see that given the tough environment Western Australian businesses are facing as a result of the pull-back in mining investment that job opportunities in IT have gone down,” Ilczynski explains.

“It’s likely that businesses don’t have the resources to go ahead with new IT infrastructures or projects, which is having a direct reflection on their hiring needs,” he says.

At a national level there has been extremely strong year on year growth in demand for IT Security professionals (57%), Technical Writers – those who produce easily accessible and digestible content for printed and online documents, such as user guides, manuals, intranet and website pages – (47%) and Product Managers and Developers (42%).

According to Mark Nielsen, APAC CEO of global IT recruitment specialist Talent International, the increase in IT security job listings can be attributed to sophisticated artificial intelligence and the unprecedented uptake of cloud computing over the past 12 months by Australian businesses, fuelling a demand for specialists to keep networks secure.

“With businesses expanding their offerings to meet customer web and mobility requirements, coupled with the advancement in devices with artificial intelligence capabilities, it is now more important than ever to be able to anticipate the level of sophistication possible when it comes to cybercrimes,” says Nielsen.

“There has been a significant increase in the way governments, businesses and people rely on technology and mobility as well as the rapid expansion of cloud computing, and as a result, IT security is one of the fastest growing areas we are seeing in the industry today,” he says.

State by state

New jobs advertised remained relatively stable month to month dipping just 0.8% from January to February 2016. 

According to Ilczynski, this slight loss in national momentum is primarily driven by the further downturn in advertising in Western Australia, where job ads fell 5.6%month on month in February 2016 to be 20.1% lower than a year ago.

“The decline in job advertising in Western Australia is across multiple industries and we are seeing a rise in applications for each job advertised in the state. This gives us an indication that the unemployment rate for the state is not likely to improve in the short-term,” says Ilczynski.

Month on month advertising dipped in four other states and territories in February, including slight decreases in New South Wales (down 0.5%) and Victoria (down 0.7%). Advertising also fell in Queensland by 2.2%, while increases were seen in South Australia (up 2.4%), Tasmania (up 1.1%) and Northern Territory (up 0.7%).

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