Despite layoffs, Australia’s tech sector created 70,000 new jobs in the last 12 months

- May 30, 2023 2 MIN READ
Kate Pounder
Tech Council of Australia CEO Kate Pounder
Australia’s tech sector grew by 8% over the past year and despite a wave of high profile redundancies, added more than 10,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2023.

The nation’s tech workforce increased by 70,000 jobs to 935,000 by February 2023, according to new research from the Tech Council of Australia (TCA).

That growth puts the industry on target to reach the council’s government-backed ambition of 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030.

The Tech Jobs Update report concludes that 10,500 jobs were added in the last 3 months to March 2023. Most of those roles came via what’s know as the indirect tech sector – tech-intensive jobs within non-tech industries, such as retail, banking, professional services, government and mining, which TCA CEO Kate Pounder see as proof that tech jobs are integral to every aspect of the Australian economy.

“The world’s leading economies are focused on digitally upskilling their workforce, and the TCA wants to ensure that Australia is at the forefront of this transition,” Pounder said.

“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.”

Despite redundancies in prominent companies, including Atlassian, which shed 500 jobs, Mr Yum, Culture Amp, Airtasker, Immutable, Till Payments and Sendle as well as global tech firm, alongside multiple startup collapses, direct jobs in the tech sector have not only held their ground, the TCA’s analysis concluded that for every job lost over the past quarter, 20 more were created.

Pounder said that grown shows that skill-transferability and flexibility are a major benefit of working in tech.

“The skills tech-workers have can be easily employed at any company, anywhere in the country,” she said.

“Tech is now a major employer in all states and territories, with the tech workforce being Australia’s 7th largest employing industry. Across every state and territory, tech jobs are growing faster than the average job in those economies.”

The other good news is that the average wages for tech jobs remains high at around $132,000. Next to being a CEO, a job in the direct-tech sector is the second highest of any advertised on SEEK in the past year, with Pounder adding that  their flexibility makes them accessible for those that have faced discrimination in other sectors, including women and people with disabilities.

And while the target is another 265,000 jobs in the next 6.5 years, Pounder said more people are needed to meet Australia’s predicted digital demand over the next decade.

“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,” she said.

Federal skills and training minister Brendan O’Connor said the tech sector is not exempt from the nation’s current skills shortage.

“Database and Systems Administrators, ICT Security Specialists and Systems Analysts remain in the top 20 occupations in demand,” he said.

“That is why our government wants to support a VET sector that not only gets people into jobs, but on the path to a well-paying career.”

The TCA is the peak industry body for Australia’s tech sector, with more than 160 members.