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Tuesday, 10 April 2018 11:33

IT on a roll as executive demand hits a high note Featured

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IT on a roll as executive demand hits a high note Image courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The IT sector has been cast as the “real corporate game changer” for business in Australia, with the latest report on executive demand in the sector showing a 9% increase for March over February, with New South Wales and the ACT the clear leaders - and executive jobs up 47% on a year ago.

According to the report from recruitment firm EL Consult, IT is not only a way to reduce cost, but is also the number one way to market and complete business development.

And, EL says the IT index is now close to the high it achieved since the GFC, having risen a substantial 47% since March 2017.

EL’s report for March shows overall that across all business and industry sectors, every large state and region was strong, apart from Queensland, with NSW's result underpinned by the gains in Information Technology and Marketing.

Executive jobs are now at their strongest level in 7 years and are continuing to grow, and EL says another 6% increase for March is now part of a trend indicating growth is set to continue throughout the economy.

EL says the growth in executive jobs bodes well for the general economy as executive positions are a reliable indicator of overall economic strength 3 to 6 months ahead.

“Executives are now reaching full employment. The EL Index continues to rise strongly – it’s now at the highest point in seven years,” says EL Consult managing director Grant Montgomery.

 “Interestingly, the traditional economic cycle is considered to be seven years and that is exactly what is happening. We have now had consistent employment growth for 18 months so that suggests there is at least another two years of significant growth until any change in direction.

“We are at the strongest point since the GFC and growing.”

Montgomery says the gains in executive demand are indicative of general economic health “which means strength in general employment, wages growth, capital spending and investment”.  

“Of course, these benefits come at a price and could bring inflationary pressures that may force the Reserve Bank to consider raising interest rates.

“And the effect of raising interest rates is likely to be much quicker effect on our highly leveraged consumer sector than the falling rates did in the past.  

“Primarily to this is the highly leverage housing market which could suffer.

“Hopefully we will see some productivity gains that will soften the effect and with the current digitising of our economy this is very likely.”  

Montgomery notes that, from an Australian political perspective, if there is an election soon the strong economy is likely to benefit the sitting government but may also work against it.

“Strong economies can often favour the Left, just as poor economic conditions push voters to the Right.

“And with the current polling there appears that the Australian Labor Party has is a very strong chance of being voted in at the next election,” he says.

In reference to the E.L Index’s performance in March, Montgomery said: “The ACT and Northern Territory are going well, and when you put that together with the very strong performance of the Management sector, you can see that government spending is up.

“Compared to their population, Victoria and New South Wales are now offering less executive level jobs than the ACT and the Northern Territory.

“Management has moved seriously in the Northern Territory and Marketing has snapped back to assist the ACT.

“The Finance sector is expected to continue to go well as the end of the financial year looms but right now we are in the midst of a slight lull when compared with the other sectors.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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