Business uncertainty around the outcome of the rapidly approaching Federal Election has resulted in a decline in ICT recruitment during July, according a leading industry recruiter.
Speaking to Computerworld Australia, Advantage Professional director, Bob Olivier, said it was unlikely there would be “spectacular growth” nor a decline in the market in coming months with employers remaining in a holding pattern until the outcome of the election was decided.
“I think once the election is out of the way it gives employers more confidence and certainty," he said. "They’re holding back a little bit which is inevitable because of the election, but once that’s over and if there’s no surprises in the packages then they’ll return to the hiring intentions that they’ve previously committed themselves to doing.
“At this stage there has not been a huge generation of employment but, if it [the National Broadband Network] were to go ahead, would be a massive creator of new jobs both directly and indirectly and would also put pressure on contract rates and per salaries.”
The comments follow the release of the firm's latest Advantage Jobs Index for the month of July, which recorded a decline of 2.31 per cent of ICT job ads on the previous month’s figures, while overall jobs fell 1.3 per cent across the country.
In addition, ICT jobs have only risen 3.79 per cent over the last quarter, showing an “ease in demand” in the market after the “extraordinary” growth pace seen in May.
Despite this, the ICT job ads are up 27.9 per cent on 12 months ago, outpacing the wider market rise of 24.09 per cent.
State-by-state, the Index highlighted Qld’s “shocker” of a month with a 7.7 per cent fall, while Victoria followed the average with a 2.2 per cent decrease, and NSW had only a minor fall of 0.1 per cent.
According to the Index, the occupation of software developers, which accounts for 34 per cent of all ads was down 1.4 per cent, with only desktop support showing growth over the month.
The results follow the lacklustre figures from last month, which were affected by the toppling of Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in favour of Julia Gillard.
The news that the Coalition, if elected, will implement a freeze on public sector graduate recruitment for two years without replacing senior staff who will retire or resign each year, will no doubt contribute to these lacklustre ICT jobs market figures.