Employers have shrugged off election fears: Olivier

IT job ads have increased over the past month, recording 2000 more ads in the fourth week of August, despite uncertainty over which party would form government

The IT jobs market has come through the period of political uncertainty with flying colours, recording a 2.9 per cent increase in jobs ads run throughout August and outpacing the wider jobs market.

The findings, recorded by the latest Advantage Jobs Index, indicate employers have already shrugged off election fears, with a surprising increase during the fourth week of August, despite the election outcome remaining unclear.

The index recorded a 2.9 per cent increase on IT jobs ads, with job ads overall recording an increase of 2.8 per cent on last month’s figures. IT job ads also recorded a 33.8 per cent increase from August 2009.

Advantage Jobs Index director, Robert Olivier, told Computerworld Australia that the election had probably held a few people back, however once it was over, even without an outcome, people started recruiting again.

“Week four saw 2000 more ads so there were no reservations or holding back,” Olivier said.

IT and telecommunications job ads online for graduates recorded a drop of 7.3 per cent from July 2010, while recording a growth of 73 per cent over the last 12 months.

According to Olivier, things are looking positive in the lead up to Christmas.

“I think it’ll rise further and I think the other factor of great specific interest to the IT community is the fact that Labor is in which means the NBN is going to happen,” he said. “[The forecast] would have been good without the NBN but it’s going to be even better still with it going ahead, it’s going to create some fantastic opportunities.”

Olivier attributes the increase over the past year to a healthier economy.

“I think that people are making greater investments, because a year ago cash was tight, credit was tight and people were therefore conserving cash and so IT projects were off the agenda,” he said. “Now they don’t feel that imminent fear of collapse.”

Despite the optimism from the Advantage index, a survey from Manpower Employment said a number of employers were cutting back on growth plans for the remainder of the year.

The survey looked at approximately 2,200 Australian employers and indicated the pace of hiring would slow over coming months.

According to the survey, hiring expectations of IT employers have “stalled” for the first time this year, dropping five per cent over the last quarter.

Manpower A/NZ managing director, Lincoln Crawley, said while the survey showed hiring had slowed, the overall employment environment was still strong.

“At the time of the survey, a looming election and talk of a double dip recession in the US may have affected employer confidence,” Crawley said. “However, the overall employment picture is still strong, especially compared to a year ago.”

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