The information and communications technology job market increased a "robust" 44.4 percent in the first half of 2004 over the last half of 2003, according to the biannual ICT job market report from IT Skills Hub. The Skills Hub said all 55 ICT positions monitored by the group saw a rise in demand for the first time in five years.
The rise builds upon a less significant growth in ICT jobs for the second half of last year, according to the ICT Skills Hub Market Monitor, with the market recording an 18.7 percent rise for the period ending 31 December, 2003. The group said "early indications" show the trend is likely to continue for the third quarter of 2004.
The report documented a "significant rise" in all ICT job sectors, according to the IT Skills Hub, with management positions touted as having the greatest increase, with a 65 percent rise from the 2003 results. System development positions were also up by 46 percent from the last survey, the organisation said.
"Test engineer, installers/implementers, data analyst, operations manager, pre-sales consultant, business analyst and delivery/release specialist were among the highest performing positions," stated the organisation said.
According to the report "NSW continued to dominate the ICT job market with 48.6 per cent share of the country's job advertisements from January 1 to 30 June 2004", with Victoria coming in second, Queensland third and the ACT experiencing the lowest increase of jobs advertised with 14 percent.
The chief executive officer of the IT Skills Hub, Brian Donovan, said the report indicated a "strong, across the board industry recovery in the last six months". He said the statistics back up the "anecdotal information from industry players that the industry has bounced back from a two-year downturn".
"The increase in demand for system development roles, which have borne the brunt of the industry downturn, is a positive sign and indicates an increase in ICT investment," said Donovan. He added that "graduate demand" has also gone up by around 25 percent.
Donovan predicts that competition for "people and skills" will continue to increase in the next six months.
"While career-based roles held their costs to a one per cent rise in the period, we saw contractor hourly rates start to climb by 3.5 per cent. This trend is likely to continue as demand increases," Donovan said.