Few job concerns despite recession

The IT job market seems largely unaffected by the Asian economic crisis and New Zealand's decline into recession, according to the Computer-world 1000 Survey. The survey asked IT managers at 30 of New Zealand's leading companies to comment on pay rates, staff retention and whether the Asian crisis had any impact on the sector.

The IT job market seems largely unaffected by the Asian economic crisis and New Zealand's decline into recession, according to the Computer-world 1000 Survey.

The survey asked IT managers at 30 of New Zealand's leading companies to comment on pay rates, staff retention and whether the Asian crisis had any impact on the sector.

Only two respondents felt the economic problems had influenced their pay rounds this year, one didn't know and everyone else said it had not had an impact.

"If anything, it's the reverse. Y2K has driven demand for staff and there is a shortage of good people," says one respondent, and the survey certainly supports that belief. Six respondents had no problems hiring experienced staff, six had no idea and the remaining 18 found it to be a definite problem.

One of the few respondents to have no problem claimed to have more than 100 people apply for the one position. He believed that was because the job was based in Christchurch rather than Auckland.

Redundancies are fortunately off the corporate menu for the near future. When asked if they expected to create any redundancies in the near future, 27 respondents said "no" and the remaining three said "possibly".

Staffing levels have remained fairly static — 15 of the respondents said their companies' overall staffing levels were the same as last year, six said they had shrunk and four claimed to be larger. IT staff levels are similar.

Consultants are one feature of the IT landscape that looks set to stay —several respondents couldn't answer questions about growth levels or redundancy issues because they have outsourced almost all of their IT requirements.

The ratio of IT staff to full-time employees ranges from the sublime(one support person for every 10 employees), to the ridiculous (one IT for every 175 employees). On average, each IT staff member looks after 59 employees.

Pay rates are well above the national average for this year. While four respondents claimed to have received no pay rise this year, most to fall in with company-wide policies, one lucky respondent claimed to have received a 30% jump in pay. The average was less extreme, around 5%, but still good when compared with the nation's standard of less than 3%.

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