Next quarter, watch for upsizing and downsizing

The Australian IT sector is suffering further from global rationalisation of IT companies, the shaky international economy and the bunkering down of Australian organisations, survey results have shown.

According to the quarterly TMP Worldwide Job Index, 24.6 per cent of IT companies report intentions to create new jobs in the next quarter, whilst 13.1 per cent say they will downsize, giving a net gain of 11.5 per cent.

This result is down 19.1 percentage points over the previous quarter and a massive 54.1 percentage points over the same period last year.

At a net of 12.1 per cent it is also less than the national all-industry average for the quarter.

More than 6397 employers nationally were surveyed and according to Matt Gordon of TMP Worldwide, NSW companies are the worst hit with a net effect of 4.0 per cent reported.

This is down 24.2 percentage points over the previous quarter and a whopping 62.1 per cent drop over the same period last year.

Gordon said companies in the ACT and Queensland are still "raring to go" with net effects of 34.3 per cent and 34.9 per cent recorded respectively.

Gordon added that while these results are still down on the previous quarter and the same period last year, he could not knock more than a third of organisations intending to put on staff in the next quarter.

"Large IT employers are the most pessimistic of all with a net effect of 1.5 per cent reported. Whilet 20.9 per cent of large IT companies with more than 200 staff members are saying they will create new jobs in the next quarter, 19.4 per cent have indicated that they will retrench employees. This continues the downward trend for this industry size which began more than 12 months ago and is down 59.9 percentage points over the November 2000 period last year," Gordon said.

He said small IT companies with fewer than 20 employees are showing a net effect of 15.6 per cent and medium firms with between 20 to 200 staff are reporting a 12.7 per cent net effect.

"The jobs that will be available in the industry will be mostly core computer and IT roles. Senior management, marketing, clerical administration and accounting finance positions will be the first to go," Gordon said.

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