IT salaries increase in 2011

Recruitment firms have reported a hefty rise in jobs ads in addition to salary increase for a number of IT roles across Australia this year

Australia’s IT industry has experienced a number of salary increases this year, despite slower than usual hiring activity over the December-January period caused by major issues including the floods in Victoria and Queensland and Cyclone Yasi, according to recruitment firm Peoplebank.

The firm’s quarterly salary survey noted a number of pay rises amongst the IT field, however reported not all of the 50 IT roles it monitors Australia-wide were so lucky.

Peoplebank chief executive, Peter Acheson, said despite the overall trend at a national level was positive, each state had been affected by major issues that had affected their IT hiring patterns.

“For example, the Queensland floods temporarily shut down the state’s economy, and the rebuilding effort will drive Government investment for some time,” Acheson said in a statement.

“On the other hand, the resources sector remains buoyant, while Queensland-based businesses have – in a remarkable display of resilience – hired large numbers of contractors to help restore their operations in February. As a result, there have been pay rises for Project Architects, programmers and related technicians.”

By contrast, the IT markets in Victoria and New South Wales started their 2011 projects later than usual, said Acheson, specifically in the banking and utilities sectors with several large companies extending their December-January planning periods into February.

“While there was stronger demand for IT contractors from the medium-sized and smaller enterprises in both states, the net result is that the traditional peak in hiring that we usually see in January, won’t be fully evident until March or even April,” he said. “Over the period, we saw pay rises in specialist areas in both cities.”

According to Acheson, while demand in South Australia has remained steady, the state has experienced salary increases for senior IT workers with specialist skills in ERP (enterprise resource planning), applications development and support infrastructure administration. Similarly, the market in Western Australia also continues to grow.

“There is a palpable mood of confidence in the air in Canberra, which has absorbed changes arising from the Gershon report and is emerging from the impact of the GFC and last year’s political uncertainties,” he said.

“While salaries for permanent roles have remained relatively stable, there have been some pay rises in the contract sector – for instance, for developers with specialist skills. More importantly, the market is confident that there will be ongoing investment in IT, which will underpin a strong jobs market in 2011.

“I expect that throughout 2011 the market will continue to tilt in favour of candidates. However, the good news for many employers is that – even if it’s not terribly easy – it will be possible to source good candidates for IT roles throughout this year and early into 2012.”

The latest index for the month of February from Advantage Professional has reported the largest rise in job advertisements since the start of the GFC.

Following the January index Advantage Professional director, Bob Olivier, told Computerworld Australia February’s results would be indicate the health of the jobs market for the year ahead.

“December and January are hard to interpret because of the statistical volatility created by seasonal factors,” he said in the report. “Therefore February is always the “bell weather” month of hiring intentions for the year ahead.

"This year was no exception with the picture muddied by big interest rate rises in November, retail uncertainties in December and natural disasters in January. So this massive turnaround is a very positive sign for the job market in 2011.”

IT job ads posted a 9.4 per cent increase nationally for the month of February, and a 26 per cent increase on the same period 12 months previously.

Graduate IT job ads also rose 23 per cent for the month, and also posted a 17 per cent increase for the 12 month period.

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