Aussie IT job numbers down one fifth

Job hunters in ICT throughout Australia are experiencing a depression in the number of advertised vacancies.

The number of vacancies for IT roles has fallen by 22 per cent over the last 12 months, with this month registering a 1.9 per cent drop.

ICT job trends in Australia.
(Credit: Phil Dobbie/ZDNet Australia)

However, job seekers with database management, network administration/engineering, business intelligence, or virtualisation skills will still find themselves in demand, according to Jonathan Chapman, associate director at staffing services provider Robert Half Technology.

"IT professionals with these in-demand skills will be in a far stronger position to move to more attractive employers and fill vacancies in the market," he said.

Companies are also looking overseas to fill their vacancies, with figures released earlier this year from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship showing that IT 457 visas granted in the nine months to the end of March have risen by 50.8 per cent year on year, from 3820 to 5750.

Peoplebank CEO Peter Acheson said that he has definitely seen a decline in the number of positions since November, which is when the Eurozone worries began to sink in.

"The European debt crisis is clearly affecting the job market," he said. "I expect its going to be a tough economy for the next few months."

Acheson said that up until that point, many IT skills, including SAP specialists, Java programmers, and business analysts, were tight.

He thinks it is fair that the IT industry continues to talk and act on skills shortages, despite the drop in vacancies, because it wouldn't take much for demand to again outstrip supply; especially since he believes that more baby boomers will drop out of the market by 2014-15. He also said that while some states are experiencing drops in demand, others, like Western Australia, are still finding it very hard to source candidates.

Phil Dobbie has his take on the numbers at sister site ZDNet Australia, and he points out why moving to Perth could be a good idea. But it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone by now that Western Australia is booming, and that the south-east area of the country is not.

ZDNet Australia's Suzanne Tindal contributed extensively to this report.