The ICT sector performance was mirrored by gains across the board in November in all other business and industry sectors, with a 17% increase for the month.
EL notes that, while it has had a sawtooth experience in recent months, the demand in the ICT sector remains in the middle to above its trading range for the year.
The majority of the ICT gains came in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, with the largest positive contribution from web-based advertising.
EL Consult says the Australian jobs market “just keeps on keeping on, despite the run-up to the end of the year and there is promise of even more to come”.
According to the firm, the growth in jobs is being fed by an economy that is firmly planted in what it describes as the “Goldilocks plus” zone, assisted by infrastructure spending, resources renewal and private sector spending.
And, EL says that heralds and even stronger jobs market in the New Year.
It points out that the monthly gain in November leaves the EL index continuing to record its strongest performance since the GFC and approaching its highest point for 2017 as the Australian economic environment continues to improve.
And it says the Index is also considerably ahead of November 2016.
Grant Montgomery, managing director of EL Consult, said the economy is generally growing well, “with the star performer being in the engineering sector”.
“This is no surprise, particularly in the big states of the eastern seaboard, but has been occurring in all the states.
“Places like Western Australia and South Australia seem to be returning into play. One argument for that could be we have seen the construction industry continuing to employ and now we are seeing new vigour in resources.
“South Australia has seen further development of Olympic Dam and the plethora of Federal Government projects that have been delivered there.
“We are seeing a Goldilocks economy and then some – it’s ‘Goldilocks plus’. We had two resources booms, then a residential housing construction boom aligned with a government infrastructure boom, and now resources are again picking up.”
Montgomery says that over the past year, general trend employment increased 3.1% – a third more than the 20 year-on-year average and November brought the longest continuous hiring run in 23 years.
“The Reserve Bank is staying quiet on the interest rate situation, but this ‘Goldilocks plus’ economy will demand a response from it, most probably sooner than later,” Montgomery predicts.
“There may be a slowing of demand during the summer period but the economic fundamentals look good for 2018.
“It’s unusual that there the economy is going so well but there is an underpinning of concern in the big cities. That is despite interest rates being low, real property prices high and a plethora of jobs being available. This is understandable – accepting more people through either immigration or a natural drag of population towards the critical mass of jobs — the cities — can create their issues, both good or bad.
“More people requires more infrastructure; everything from a light rail in Sydney and the possibility of a Melbourne airport monorail, to local road diversions as the NBN is installed.
“We are going through the pain in the capital cities and that is affecting many people. However, it won’t affect the work continuing and that work is required to allow growth to continue over the long term.”
The EL Index for November showed that executive demand rose across all sectors and in all of the large states.
Of the large states Queensland recorded the largest gain due to gains in management and financial.