The IT sector saw a fall of 34 percent in demand for executives in January compared to December, compared to an overall fall in demand for executive jobs of 23 percent. However, Grant Montgomery, managing director of E.L Consult Australia, told ZDNet Australia the figure shouldn't be taken too seriously.
"When you're talking the January period it's not an accurate month to put too much emphasis on," said Montgomery. "A lot of projects have been put on hold. We don't think it's indicative of what's happening this year, which is strength in IT."
The sector was dragged down by New South Wales, which was "an extraordinarily bad performer right through this January period" across all the sectors. "If you were to take NSW out of the picture the whole IT sector did show a very strong performance," said Montgomery. "[It would be in] positive territory, about 30 percent over January 2003."
While NSW and Western Australia experience strong falls in demand for IT executives, Queensland retained a steady demand and Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania experienced a strong surge in demand for IT executives. The Victorian government in particular was keen to hire IT executives in January.
"We had a very strong December, and had an increasing IT demand since June last year," said Montgomery. "The December increase was sufficient for us to say that the turnaround has occurred. It will take a long time to get back to really strong levels, probably a year, year and a half."
Montgomery said there will continue to be strong fluctuations, but "every indication is that the trend is now upwards".