Jobs market retreats in face of election jitters

Political Pause

By Jennifer Foreshew    

Market uncertainty, compounded by the forthcoming election, prompted a fall in the overall employment market last month, while technology roles slid 2.31 per cent, seasonally adjusted, a survey found.

The Coalition’s plan to scrap the $43 billion National Broadband Network if it came to power would also affect IT employment, recruiters warned.

The Advantage Job Index, released yesterday showed a national drop of 1.3 per cent last month – only the second decline this year.

"I think the overall feel out there is still one of we are nowhere out of the woods because we are still reading too much globally about uncertainties and stockmarket jitters,” Advantage Resourcing global market intelligence director Robert Olivier said.

"Historically, when elections are called, there is uncertainty and people will take their foot off the accelerator.”

Mr Olivier said the potential demise of the NBN would also have a significant impact on the employment prospects for IT professionals.

"That would affect both direct employment possibilities and indirectly the jobs that would have been created as a result of it in the medium term,” he said.

Taylor Coulter director Penny Coulter said IT recruitment in the telecommunications space would take a hit if the NBN did not go ahead, but the long-term impact would probably not be significant.

"It will be perceived as a setback for the industry, not to mention the possible message it will send to people looking for a career as a specialist in the telco industry, perhaps even a loss of confidence,” she said.

The July Advantage Job Index found there were 20,566 IT positions vacant online.
Desktop support roles were up 4.7 per cent, while network communications security vacancies dropped 5.2 per cent.

Software development and engineering, which account for more than a third of all technology vacancies, were down 2.5 per cent. Management and sales roles slipped 1.4 per cent.

Peoplebank chief executive Peter Acheson said the IT job market continued to perform well last month in all states except the ACT.

He said Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Western Australia were particularly strong.

The WA market showed considerable strengthening after a relatively flat 12 months.

Article from The Australian, August 10, 2010.

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