Head south for jobs, west for a pay rise

Western Australia saw biggest growth in salaries, according to a recent survey

Perth ICT workers received the highest pay rises in the first quarter of this year according to salary survey data released by recruitment firm Peoplebank.

According to the survey, which covered more than 50 IT job categories in the nation's capital cities over a three month period, 40 per cent of the categories surveyed witnessed a salary or contract rate rise. The firm attributed this to a dwindling job market in the western capital, forcing employers to increase pay in order to keep existing staff and attract new workers.

“Steady growth in the number of roles available turned into strong growth in March," Peoplebank acting chief executive officer, Jeff Knowles, said in a statement.  “Where, a year ago, each candidate would have had one role or assignment offered at a time, candidates today are often choosing between two or more options, or are dropping out from the selection process because they’ve taken a job elsewhere."

The survey suggests that, while IT workers received the biggest pay increases in Perth, the job market has grown most in Victoria, where the number of available roles has doubled in the past three months. South Australian has also become a competitive job market amongst employers in the first quarter of the year, while New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland all saw a lesser increase.

The survey reiterates continued rises in the IT job sector through 2010, with job indexes from Olivier and Advantage.

One area that has seen substantial growth recently is software testing, with key players PlanIT, K.J. and Ross and France-based CapGemini all witnessing increased demand from clients in Australia. The demand increase has forced employers to search overseas as well as locally, as the number of skilled testers dwindles.

“Peoplebank anticipates that as the skills shortage becomes apparent, pay rates – especially for contact roles - will rise markedly," Knowles said.