ABS: Australia’s ICT industry totals 300K workers

ABS releases ICT industries survey, offering an economic breakdown of the nation’s ICT industry.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has pegged Australia’s ICT industry workforce at approximately 300,000 persons as of the year ending 30 June, 2007.

The figures come from the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industries survey, released by the ABS Tuesday, which offers an economic snapshot of the nation’s ICT industry.

The ABS segmented the ICT industry into five main groupings for the survey, finding just under half of the industry employed in computer system design and related services (128,000), 26 percent employed in information media and telecommunications (78,000), 24 percent in wholesale trade (71,000), 5 percent in manufacturing (16,000) and 2 percent in electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance (7,000).

More than two-thirds of the nation’s ICT industry is employed in either NSW (120,000) or Victoria (84, 000), who collectively harbour three quarters of the nation’s ICT businesses, while the 587 ICT business in Tasmania and the Northern Territory employ the least.

Total income for all ICT industries was $122,839 million, with wholesale trade ($50,903 million), information media and telecommunications ($40,208 million) and computer system design and related services ($26,049 million) together contributing over three-quarters to that figure. Businesses with 100 or more employees accounted for 52 percent of employment (155,000 persons) and 68 percent of total income ($83,990 million).

The main source of income for the wholesale trade came from the sales of goods purchased for resale (88 percent or $45 million). Almost two thirds of income ($26,664 million) for the information media and telecommunications grouping came from the provision of telecommunications services -- with mobile services contributing 44 percent to this amount, followed by basic telephony services at 36 percent. In the computer system design and related services group, the major source of income (70 percent) was the provision of computer services like hardware and software consultancy.

For more detailed information on sources of income and operating expenses for each industry grouping, visit here.

Operating expenses across all ICT industries totaled $113,274 million, with wholesale trade ($48,445 million) and information media and telecommunications ($35,417) topping the list. The total operating profit before tax for all ICT industries was $10,331 million, with Information media and telecommunications contributing just under half ($4,894 million) to that figure.

Wages and salaries for all ICT industries was 19 percent of total operating expenses at $21,121 million, with computer system design and related services boasting the highest wages and salaries as a proportion of total operating expenses (40 percent), followed by electronic precision equipment repair and maintenance (25 percent), and manufacturing (23 percent). Wholesale trade paid the lowest wages and salaries as a proportion of total operating expenses at 10 percent.

In terms of capital expenditure, the information media and telecommunications enjoyed a capex injection more than six times higher than any other grouping at $7, 376 million, or 77 percent of the total $9,556 million.

According to the ABS, the survey only covered businesses within industries considered to be the main industries involved in the production and distribution of ICT goods and services, and therefore does not represent all ICT activity undertaken in Australia.

For a detailed breakdown of sources of income, performance measures and state by state figures across all groupings, see the ABS tables here.

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