IT staff increase set for 2007

Aussie services driving growth

Nearly half of all information technology companies in Australia plan to increase permanent staff during the March 2007 quarter, according to a survey released today.

The Hudson Employment Expectations Report, a survey of 7104 Australian employers, discovered the January-March 2007 quarter is at its most buoyant since mid-2005, with more than 42 percent of respondents nationally planning to hire over the January to March quarter.

Those in the telecommunications sector are also expected to hire more staff over the coming month, with 50.2 percent of respondents in that space confirming their intentions. Only 7 percent expect to decrease staff.

More than 72.9 percent of respondents in Queensland plan to hire staff with 4.2 percent expecting to decrease staff levels, leaving a net effect of 68.8 percent, a 35 percent increase from the same quarter last year and the highest level recorded since July 2001.

Martin Retschko, Hudson director of IT and telecommunications recruitment said the increase has been fuelled by demand for Australian IT&T products from across the Asia Pacific, as well as Australia being an attractive investment for multinational IT&T organizations.

"Employment sentiment continues to grow within these sectors due to the ongoing focus on new and innovative products and services, increased technology adoption rates across household consumer and business consumers, and fierce competition within the sectors," Retschko said.

"Overall, the employment outlook for both the information technology and telecommunications industries looks promising for 2007."

Western Australia led the national figures, with more than 51 percent of employers looking to source talent, then the Australian Capital Territory at 44.9 percent, Queensland at 42.5 percent, Victoria at 30.3 percent, New South Wales at 29.6 percent and South Australia at 27.9 percent.

Anne Hatton, CEO of Hudson Australia and New Zealand, said the skills shortage is a serious issue for Western Australian employers as the shortage of labour has driven up wages and also the cost of resources projects. Hatton added the skills shortage is continuing to hurt the construction, property and engineering sectors nationwide.

"The employment market remains robust for the New Year, even as interest rate increases since last May flatten growth in the economy," Hatton said.

"The construction property and engineering sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth in the past three years, however the skills shortage continues to bite."

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