Australia has hit 78% of its 2030 tech job target of 1.2 million, according to a report released today by the Tech Council of Australia (TCA).
The report was launched by the Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic and Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor in Canberra this morning.
According to the report, our tech work force was sitting at 935,000 in February. An additional 10,500 jobs were added to the roster during a three-month period, up until March.
How are tech jobs rising when there have been so many tech layoffs?
This news may seem surprising, considering the continued downsizing within the Australian tech sector. This year alone we’ve seen layoffs at Atlassian, Xero, Linktree, Mr Yum, Brighte, Swyftx, and Finder.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
There’s also been a slew of tech startups that have closed their doors over the past few months, including Milkrun (though Woolworth’s has brought it back, sort of), Providoor and CoLab.
But according to research from the TCA, for every tech job lost over the past quarter, 20 have been created.
The majority of these most recent jobs have come from the “indirect tech sector”, which the report explains as tech-intensive jobs within other industries.
According to TCA CEO Kate Pounder, this shows the growing importance of tech jobs in all aspects of Australian business, and that skilled tech workers continue to have job prospects throughout Australia.
“The growth of tech jobs in non-traditional tech industries reflects a long-term structural change in the Australian economy and shows that digital skills are becoming deeply embedded into all facets of the economy,” Pounder said in a statement.
“This shows that skill-transferability and flexibility are some of the major benefits of being employed in the tech sector.”
Pounder said the tech sector is now a major player in all states and territories and is now the seventh largest employment industry in Australia.
And the numbers reflect this sentiment. The report states that one in 14 working Australians are in a tech job, and there are now more software engineers than plumbers, hairdressers or baristas in Australia.
“Tech jobs are growing faster than the average job in those economies” Pounder said.
Delving deeper into the report, it also reveals the direct tech sector, while losing 400 “tech-intensive” jobs over the last three months, has added 2,700 news ones.
“These 2,700 jobs include non-tech occupations, such as human resources or legal jobs in the tech sector and are part of the tech workforce,” the report states.
Tech Council of Australia says salaries remain high
The average tech job wages in Australia remain high, with the average sitting at $132,000, according to the TCA’s report.
According to data gleamed from SEEK, direct-tech sector job wages were the second highest of any during the advertised period, being beaten out only by CEOs.
It’s worth noting this is specifically information and communication technology jobs. Other ‘tech jobs’ such as mining, resources and energy, engineering, and science and technology were lower on the list.
“Tech jobs are high paying and important … and importantly, their flexibility makes them accessible for those that have faced discrimination in other sectors, such as women and the differently abled,” Pounder added.
There’s still work to be done
While these new figures are encouraging, particularly during the continued layoffs in the industry, the TCA has acknowledges there’s still more work to do to hit the 1.2 million tech job target by 2030.
“Despite being on track, Australia still needs hundreds of thousands more people working in tech to meet the country’s expected digital needs over the next decade,” Pounder said.
“To achieve this target, the tech sector is committed to working with the government across five key areas, including increasing awareness of the tech jobs opportunity, fixing gaps in education and training pathways, improving diversity in the tech workforce, target skilled migration to areas of high-need and greatest shortages and improve industry-level workforce supply and demand forecasts.”
“We’re excited for the future of Australia’s tech sector, and with continued joint investment and commitment, we know that it will be central to the country’s future prosperity.”