Job listings growth for the IT industry stalled during the start of the year, finally putting an end to a six-month surge.
According to job advertising website SEEK’s latest Employment Report, the IT market's growth rate declined by 0.1 per cent in January after having previously recorded consistent month-on-month growth for the sector since July.
On a year-on-year basis, IT job listings declined by 22 per cent across the country when compared to January 2020.
In fact, ads for the vast majority of IT roles were down when compared to January last year, with hardware and network engineer jobs taking the worst hit, dropping by 43 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively.
In-demand roles ads for developers and programmers fared little better, declining by 22 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, listings for business and systems analysts fell by 26 per cent as software engineer ads remained consistent.
Product management and development positions were the only to see growth, rising by 19 per cent alongside computer operators which surged by a significant 64 per cent.
As a whole, the overall number of job ads increased by 4 per cent month-on-month and 6.5 per cent year-on-year. Kendra Banks, managing director of SEEK A/NZ, said the overall figures were a "very encouraging start to the year”.
“Traditionally, we would see a drop in new job ad growth throughout December, and into the start of January. Pleasingly, in 2021, businesses have been looking to hire from the very first week of the year," she said.
Out of the major states, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland recorded month-on-month growth in IT job ads, rising by 5.4 per cent, 5.2 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively. NSW and South Australia, meanwhile, recorded declines of 8.5 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively.
Comparing January 2021 to the same month year ago however, Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and NSW all recorded job ad declines ranging from 16.6 per cent to 24.1 per cent. Meanwhile, South Australia was the only major state to post year-on-year growth, rising 21 per cent.
While numbers might be down in the short term, the IT hiring intentions of Australian businesses this year are close to pre-COVID-19 levels, with specialist recruitment agency Clicks IT Recruitment claiming that 26 per cent of businesses expecting to increase their total IT staff numbers.
According to the agency's 2021 IT Recruitment and Retention Report, this is just under the 28 per cent of businesses seen in December 2019 and up from 11 per cent of businesses in July 2020.