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Monday, 01 August 2011 07:46

IT salaries spike despite market jitters


Jittery business sentiment is leading to an increase in demand for contract IT staff, as companies continue to shy away from increasing their permanent headcount, prompting 'ridiculous' fee spikes of up to 30 per cent in some areas of the IT skills market.

The June quarter Clarius skills index which is released today, shows that while supply and demand for skills are pretty much balanced in terms of sheer numbers, there are still pockets of intense demand for some skills and in some regions which is leading to the pay spikes.

KPMG Econotech conducts the skills survey for Clarius using Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations data. An index of 100 represents perfect skills-demand balance where figures above 101 are considered to indicate skills shortages.

For the June quarter the index for computing professionals stood at 100.5, down from 101.1 in the last quarter.

Candle is a specialist recruitment business within the Clarius network, and according Candle executive general manager, Linda Trevor; 'There are still going to be some shortages, but it has eased off.' However she said that; 'Contracting is picking up and generally permanent follows,' as organisations come to realise that permanent employees are generally a cheaper long term option.

'We are definitely in a strong contracting market,' she said, with Canberra, Sydney and Queensland particularly strong. Ms Trevor said that salary increases of 5-20 per cent were being seen for some contract roles, and up to 30 per cent in Queensland; 'Which is ridiculous - they can't stay like that,' she acknowledged.

In a media release Ms Trevor said that; 'In NSW, wages for SAP staff have increased by 10 per cent. In Victoria wages are up by 10 per cent for architects and testing staff. In Queensland, business analysts, test analysts and Java staff wages are up by 25 per cent. While in Western Australia, shortages of SharePoint and project managers are driving wages expectations higher.'

The strength of the demand for contractors in Canberra suggests that the post-Gershon review fatwa against contractors has now ended. But following Gershon many IT professionals upped sticks and left the ACT, which may make it harder to lure them back.

Ms Trevor said; 'Obtaining security clearance is of particular concern for the Canberra market because of the time it takes to obtain security clearance which can take up to several months.'


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