Tuesday, 12 September 2017 01:02

Australia’s IT sector delivers highest salaries, says new report

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Australia’s IT sector delivers highest salaries, says new report Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Job vacancies in the IT Industry in Australia increased 12% in the past month and 8% over the past year, rising to 7471 total job vacancies – with the IT sector the highest paid industry, according to a new report from one IT recruitment firm.

And, average salaries increased 4.77% over the past six months to $120,000, with IT right at the top of the list as the highest paying industry.

This is according to recruiter Adzuna, which says that job vacancies in the IT sector industry will continue to grow, but not entirely as result of new job creation.

And, according to Adzuna in its latest report, the IT sector, healthcare, trade and construction are the top hiring sectors in Australia – and people working in these sectors can also expect higher than average salaries.

Adzuna chief executive Raife Watson says that the recent changes to 457 visas could lead to a back-log of job vacancies, with fewer overseas workers applying for roles in Australia due to the “diminished incentive” to do so.

And if demand in the Australian IT sector cannot be satisfied by the local workforce, Watson says the first place Australian companies will look to source skilled workers will be New Zealand, “a country with minimal restrictions on travelling, working and living in Australia”.

“The immediate flow-on effect of fewer highly skilled IT workers in Australia will be the increase in salaries, as companies look to secure top local talent by offering juicier pay-packets,” Watson predicts.

“The start-up space, where most companies work off extremely lean budgets, will feel the pinch first. Start-ups do not have the capital to pay the same rates as larger, more established companies and will struggle to source and retain skilled IT workers.”

Across the board in all business and industry sectors, Adzuna says 127,884 advertised salaries increased 2.24% over the past 12 months to $90,251. The number of advertised vacancies in Australia increased 3.22% in the year to August 2017.

In healthcare, Adzuna says the number of job seekers vying for a single role has reached the lowest point of 2017, with 5.68 people competing for a job, compared with 6.59 just six months ago. Additionally, Adzuna says August saw competition for jobs drop to 5.68 jobseekers per vacancy, the lowest in 2017.

But, it says, healthcare job vacancies have now surged again, with 19,356 vacant positions currently being advertised on Adzuna.

According to Adzuna, advertised salaries continue to climb and salaries are continuing to show short-term improvements, climbing 4.71% over the past six months, and 2.24% year-on-year.

Queensland recorded the highest increase in average advertised salaries at 6.39%, whereas in NSW, Australia’s biggest economy and employer, salaries remained flat, with 0.08% growth.

Demand increased in the legal sector and, according to Adzuna data, job vacancies in the sector have climbed 21% over the past year, although advertised salaries dropped 2.41%.

According to Adzuna, the drop in legal sector salaries is due to increased demand for junior positions including legal secretaries and executive assistants, which attract lower salaries in comparison to more senior roles such as legal counsel.

And, Adzuna says, many of the more senior positions advertised are for jobs within government agencies.

“August saw 100,000 fewer unemployed people and also the highest number of job vacancies for the year. Both factors are green shoots for potential economic growth,” says Watson.

“In New South Wales, 3.89 job seekers are competing for a single role. This is low, especially for the biggest economy in the country, and should result in an increase in wages.

“When competition for jobs is high, the incentive for employers to pay higher rates is diminished and it becomes a race to the bottom. Competition for jobs is currently very low, and jobseekers can assume a stronger position when negotiating pay packets in theory, wages should start to pick-up as a result.”

So, where are all the jobs? In healthcare, trade and construction and IT, says Adzuna.

Over the past 12 months, Western Australia has recorded the largest increase in advertised job vacancies at 12.35%, which Adzuna says is a result of rising commodity prices and subsequent need for more workers to cope with demand.

Adzuna also notes that the ACT retains the title of “best place” in Australia to find a job, with 2.82 job seekers competing for a single role in the ACT, compared to 3.89 in NSW, and 12.01 in South Australia.

“The outlook for wage growth in Australia is promising,” Adzuna concludes.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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