Australia’s technology workforce is booming. Employment in the sector has grown by 33,400 over the past year to 805,525, according to the latest stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is up from 788,750 a year ago, and is a 4.3% increase from last year. The number of workers in the digital and technology industries doubled in just one year to 193,605.
Within just five years, the technology workforce is expected to swell by more than one million Australians. The composition of this new workforce will be increasingly diverse, with the number of women in the workforce growing from 26 per cent today to 32 per cent in 2021, and people aged 45 years and older rising to 12 per cent of the workforce.
The tech sector started to grow really fast in the early years of the pandemic. It has continued to grow throughout 2020 and into 2021. It’s already the leading industry in terms of employment. Australia has emerged as a tech leader internationally, with profits from tech exports increasing by 21% in the six months to November 2020, dwarfing that of any other industry, meaning more tech workers could mean more economic benefits for the once low-growing sector.
In addition to tech and technology workers, there are others working in the broader digital economy that adds value to the local economy. The data shows that professionals with engineering skills, software development, analytics, and other analytical skills have seen the biggest increase of any sub-sector.
The outlook for greater business activity remains positive for the next few years, with the government further expanding access to capital and lowering corporate taxes. The tech sector supports about 87,300 full-time jobs in the country and generated more than A$20 billion in wages for its workers, the first time it did so since the GFC.
The tech sector is still relatively young in Australia and offers a desirable opportunity for Australians to gain new skills, particularly with young people bound to be affected by the effects of the pandemic long into their careers. The Aussie gig economy is also expanding as more job seekers look to the internet to find work.
According to the 2021 edition of the ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse report, which tracks the key trends in the nation’s technology workforce and its potential growth over the next five years, the combined effect of rising wages, unemployment, and digital technology means there is now greater opportunity for advancement in this field and it could see Australia take advantage of a stronger economy than most countries in the world.
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