Job Market Demand: September 13 edition

The Job Market

Here we go again with the latest employment stats for contractors. This is where and how I source the information once again:

Source: via Seek (Australia’s # 1 job search engine)

  • Work Type: Contracts
  • Sub-Classification: PM, Consultants, BA, Testers, Developers
  • Location: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane / Perth / Adelaide / Canberra

The data feed based on the above criteria, populates a spreadsheet and the charts are produced off the back.

To begin this edition, I thought it would be interesting to find out how popular a job title is when looking for contract work. So here’s what I did: I checked the data from January up to today and filtered on Job Title (or Sub-Classification as Seek would call it).  The results:

Contract Pie

This should not be surprising.

This pie basically outlines the composition of contract work in Australia which goes along the lines of 3% Project Managers / Directors -> right down to 40% Developers. Even intuitively without the pie, every project needs only a few chiefs (PM’s) and a lot of Indians (arguably, everyone else) to get the project through. It is comforting to know that the data supports common sense.

And now hopping right into each role and the current trend, we have this:


We’re a slightly below par relative to this time last year but the month is young so who knows? Did the record low cash rate help us at this point in time? Well it hasn’t and that’s not a good thing if one of the intentions was to kick start the economy and get companies to spend on new project initiatives (via Project Managers who, per their job description, are responsible for scoping out new projects – and perhaps continuing with existing ones too).

It appears that companies are not willing to spend just because rates are low. In a report I read recently from Bloomberg – and I apologise in advance as I can’t find the source in this instance – businesses are more likely to spend if they see growth. The problem here is that everyone else is waiting for the same thing.

Back to our charts:


There isn’t a lot in this except for the obvious crash in demand for those cities outside the 2 majors. Consultants, in case you were wondering, comprise of roles such as SAP, JD Edwards specialists, Consultant / Business Analysts, Consultant / Project Managers etc. So as you can see, it’s a mix of a few different roles working for a consulting company (note: there are a few roles advertised that bypass the ‘consulting company route’, but these are few and far between).

Judging from the start of the timeline, it appears that we are on a downward slide (a constant theme).

Turning our attention to the BA’s:


A bit of good news for the Business Analysts in Sydney:  your numbers are a little bit better than last year.

And now to hammer the gloom down: be prepared to receive a wall of silence from recruiters when you apply! That’s right, the numbers may be up but recruiters / agents have been briefed and they are looking for the best fit for the job requirements (and not a so-so fit).  If you do not meet but one of the 00’s selection criteria, then prepare for the worse and move on. That is just how the market works these days and the sooner you can come to grips with it, the better it is for your overall sanity.

Now I’ve grouped the next 2 together as they both look as bad as each other:



The downward slide is quite obvious isn’t it? We are worse off than we were at the point last year on average (taking both roles and all cities in to account). And that’s pretty bad considering last year was terrible!

And in case you’re wondering what in world is that spike in Testing and QA’s around Feb ’12: that was due to some government project in Canberra (checking that number a bit deeper, there was a lot of Performance Tester requirements coming out of the nation’s capital).

Unfortunately I couldn’t report anything better than this because quite frankly this is ‘as good as it gets‘.

..until we see some growth.


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