An index of online job ads in the IT and telecommunications sector slid more than expected in January, although the sector did not fare as badly as the overall online jobs market, which was hit by recent interest rate rises.
According to the Olivier Internet Job Index, the number of online job ads in the IT & T sector was down by 11.26 percent in January compared to December, although the seasonally adjusted figures showed a drop of 4.57 percent. This fared comparatively well against the national average, which fell by 8.89 percent in January over December, seasonally adjusted.
"January is always the low point in the graph every year, and it's been particularly poor this month," Robert Olivier, director of Olivier Recruitment, told ZDNet Australia . Out of 21 sectors surveyed 20 experienced a decline in raw online job ads, with seasonally adjusted figures showing 18 sectors experiencing a decline. According to Olivier, the only recent changes in the business climate has been the interest rate hikes.
"In some ways I've changed my opinion on that, it seems to have dug deeper than we thought," said Olivier. Olivier previously said the interest rate rises didn't have much effect on the job market. However, after six months of successive rises in online job ads, the steady decline over the previous four months is causing a rethink of the effect of interest rates on online job ads.
The IT & T sector fared better than average because it is not as sensitive to interest rate rises as other sectors, according to Olivier. The worst hit sub-sector in IT&T was Sales and Management, which fell by 12.49 percent in raw data. The best performers were Software Development and Engineering, which only fell by 6 percent, and Networks, Communication and Security which fell by 5.48 percent in January over December.
Olivier predicted the market would bounce back in February, but a further interest rate rise could cause it to fall again in March or April. "The IT market started reasonably confidently," said Olivier. "It's a brittle confidence, another rate rise might be damaging."