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Wednesday, 22 November 2017 22:33

IT sector exec demand slows as economy dips: EL Consult Featured

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IT sector exec demand slows as economy dips: EL Consult Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are signs Australia’s “booming economy" might be hitting a flat spot, according to recruitment firm EL Consult, which says its executive demand index for October showed the Information Technology sector was the smallest supplier of executive-level jobs for the month.

In contrast, the financial sector was the largest supplier of executive-level jobs in October, with EL revealing its Executive Demand Index took a “surprise dip” of 15% in October, despite the fact it had been recording its strongest performance since the GFC.

EL reports that in October, Information Technology has reversed out of most of the gains it made in June and July, falling 11% compared with the prior month.  

“However, it remains approximately in the middle of its trading range for the year,” says EL, while revealing that the majority of the losses in the IT sector came in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

According to EL Web-based advertising created the majority of the downward draft.

Grant Montgomery, managing director of E.L Consult, says that the significant growth in executive demand across all sectors over the last few months meant that a correction was expected given the month to month volativity of any employment series.  

“The recent gains in demand have been very strong – the strongest positive movement since the GFC.  

“This has not just been an Australian experience – it is a global phenomenon," said Montgomery.  

“But there is a precedent for volatility in both financial markets and executive demand in October – the month has regularly been met with significant falls.

“Some of this correction can be explained by the timing cycle of senior level appointments.  Corporate managers make decisions to expand their management ranks and then go through the process of for-filling those roles.

“When there are very significant increases in demand over an extended period, as we have had, then the focus goes to filling those roles which requires recruitment selection and training programs that can take a number of months.

“Simply companies slow their executive employment because they a knee deep in bedding in new employees.

“Monthly figures can be volatile at best and not as a good measure as a long-term trend.  

“It is very possible that the demand will swing back next month but given that we are coming up to Christmas and January it may remain flat until early in the New Year.”

According to Montgomery, by putting the volatility of monthly figures aside, the leading nature of the EL Index will mean that general employment figures are also in for a correction later this year or early the next.

“We have again seen the general employment situation follow the EL Index by three months. The unemployment rate is now at its lowest rate in four years. About 20,000 new jobs were created in September to register a consecutive 12 months of jobs growth.”

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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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