GFC results in stagnant ITC salaries

Thursday, 02 September, 2010

The annual survey of Australian Computer Society (ACS) members, the nation’s peak body for information and communication technology (ICT) professionals, has revealed  the salaries of ICT professionals, particularly in the private sector, have slowed on average over the 12 months to May 2010.

The 2010 annual survey was conducted for the ACS by the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA). The 2010 Australian Computer Society Remuneration Survey demonstrated that salaries of the public and education sector experienced the greatest rise in the rate of increase.

Remuneration paid to ICT professionals across the 12-month period was up 3.3%, despite experiencing the aftermaths of the global financial crisis. ICT professionals employed in the private sector recorded the greatest reduction in the rate of increase, reporting an average of 3%, down from 3.9% a year earlier. Almost half (45%) of the private sector received no increase in salary over the previous year.

Public sector remuneration remained stronger with an increase of 4.2%, a decrease from last year’s 4.6%, and education sector employees reported an average increase of 3.1%, lower than the 3.5% increase reported a year earlier.

In real terms, the salaries of the majority of ICT professionals have increased marginally faster than general cost of living increases in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 2.9% over much the same period.

CIOs and general management roles were reported to be the most lucrative positions based on total remuneration packages, where a total package is defined as comprising the value of base salary, bonuses, superannuation and the value of fringe benefits such as motor vehicles.

Other key findings of the 2010 Remuneration Survey included:

  • The Business Services industry was seen to have performed best over the past year, ICT respondents reporting an average salary increase of 5%.
  • In the 12 months to February 2010, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported Australian average weekly earnings increasing by 5.9%.

ACS President Anthony Wong said the global financial crisis has directly impacted the income levels of ICT professionals in Australia, resulting in the lowest level of salary increases in the past six years. Private sector professionals were greatly impacted, as not only the ICT industry but all industry sectors tightened their belts to ensure stability.

“As demand for ICT professionals recovers from the global economic slowdown, the rate of increase of salaries is expected to increase. The rate of increase will depend on the competitiveness of local ICT providers and professionals as this will have an impact of the use of offshore providers of ICT services, putting downward pressure on local salary outcomes.

“Recent infrastructure announcements concerning the development of a national high-speed broadband infrastructure and ongoing development of electronic systems in the health and security sectors are anticipated to provide significant job opportunities in the medium term,” said  Wong.

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