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ICT sector tops list of shrinking job vacancies

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 25 May, 2020

ICT sector tops list of shrinking job vacancies

Australia's ICT industry has been the least affected by the unprecedented slump in online job listings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, topping the charts of the industries with the most vacancies in April.

The federal government's official Vacancy Report for April 2020, an analysis of job advertisements listed online during the preceding month, found around 7100 listings for ICT professionals in April.

While this is down by 38% or over 4300 listings in April 2019, it is below the 46.1% slump recorded across all industries.

This has allowed the sector to take over from the category of general inquiry clerks, call centre workers and receptionists as the industry with the most job advertisements among all 48 detailed occupational groups covered in the report.

A look at the trends per occupational category shows the biggest impact on the overall ICT sector was felt at the technician and trade worker level. Demand for engineering, ICT and science technicians fell 47%, year-on-year, while demand for electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers was down by 43%.

But job listings for ICT professionals also fell 38% and listings seeking health, education, ICT and other managers shrank by 36.6%.

Economy-wide, job listings have fallen to the lowest rate since the monthly series began in January 2006.

The Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) — a count of online job ads newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch during the month — fell by a record 16.4% to 18,400. With just 94,300 jobs posted, the month ended with an IVI score of 44.2, compared to the January 2006 benchmark of 100.

The report notes that the report does not reflect the total number of job advertisements in the labour market because it does not account for offline job ads or those posted on other websites, as well as recruitment methods that do not involve online job postings.

But the report also shows that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate shot up from just above 5% in March to over 6% in April.

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