Market update – Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff
Despite the ‘doom and gloom’ scenarios painted in the media over the last few months the Australian professional employment sector has remained steady and stable. In fact, the October 08 employment figures just released confounded the ‘experts’ with 34,000 people finding new employment and the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.3%. Australia and Canada are the only two OECD countries that have projected economic growth and budget surplus. Australia is projecting a 2% growth for the 08/09 year and a surplus of $5B. Further, the market intelligence group Gartner, is projecting an 8.3% growth in IT demand for the Asia Pacific Region. Globally, however they are projecting a worst case growth of 2.3%. So the APAC market is well and truly outperforming the global market which is not surprisingly given our very different fundamentals. All this growth; and in a market that is already starved of quality professionals! So what’s this mean to you? More demand! As the CBA’s chief economist Michael Blythe puts it "employers are switching to more casual staff in the face of the economic downturn” Don’t get caught up in the wave of pessimism. The official statistics, the Treasurer, treasury and various academic experts agree; Australia is travelling very well. Yes there will be an impact, but freelance consultants will be part of the solution. There will be continued, across the board demand for quality professionals of all kinds. Some industries, like some in the financial sector, will have to rationalise to maintain their profitability whilst others are taking the opportunities to replenish their talent base by replacing the bottom 10-15% of their staff. They are doing this, not because they’re under economic pressure to do so, but because they have the opportunity to replace the poor performers with better calibre individuals. In the near future therefore, we expect that demand for freelance consultants will continue to stay high.
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This article was published in the Australia Freelance Market Newsletter 57.