The Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed the IT&T industry activity was significantly depressed for 2000 to 2001 with profits falling compared to figures recorded for the sector between 1998 to 1999, according to figures released Thursday.
Total income for IT&T specialist businesses was $77.5 billion, an increase of almost $15 billion, or 24 per cent, since 1998 to 1999.
The IT&T trade deficit increased to $11.3 billion in the 12 months to June 2001 compared to 1998-99 when the deficit was $9.1 billion.
And the year saw Australia's IT&T specialist businesses profits drop 35 per cent from 1998 to 1999 levels.
The greatest contributors to the total were the same sectors that were credited for bolstering profits back in the 1998 to 1999 period: wholesale trade down $1.35 billion; computer services down $641 million; telecommunications services dropped almost $612 million.
IT&T specialist businesses had an IT&T income of $73.8 billion, which represented 95 per cent of their total income.
ABS said the industry employed 238,521 people at the end of June 2001, up 20 per cent over June 30 1999. Employment was greatest in the computer consultancy services sector, at 88,222, followed by the telecommunication services, at 77,275 and the computer wholesale trade, 38,656.
At 44 per cent and 32 per cent respectively, New South Wales and Victoria had the greatest number of IT&T specialist businesses in Australia, accounting for 73 per cent of employment and 76 per cent of wages and salaries in this industry.
Between 1998-99 and 2000-01, income from the domestic production of IT&T goods and services increased by 25 per cent to reach $50.2 billion. Imports of IT&T goods and services increased by 28 per cent to reach $17.3 billion within the same period.