IT trade deficit grows, men dominate

IT trade deficit grows, men dominate

Australia’s technology trade deficit continues to grow. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal the tech deficit has increased by two billion dollars, whilst the technology workplace continues to be dominated by men.

The statistics compared the state of Australia’s information technology and telecommunications industries with the industry two years ago.

The IT trade deficit has grown from $9.1 billion for the 1998/99 financial year to $11.3 billion for 2000/01, as Australia continued to import technology goods and services from Europe, USA and Asia. Imported IT services increased by 28 per cent.

IT continued to grow, despite the slower economy, but the latter could explain why profits decreased. IT’s operating profits declined from 12.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent.

Wholesale traders, telecommunications services and computer services were the largest decliners according to the Bureau.

Males continued to dominate the IT working environment, with 238,521 Australians employed in IT by June, 2001, an increase of 20 per cent. Consultancy services were the greatest employers, followed by the telecommunications sector and wholesale. New South Wales had the most propeller-heads, with 44 per cent; Victoria came in second with 32 per cent of IT specialists. Interestingly, the Bureau found that the vast majority (82 per cent) of IT companies employed fewer than four people, and the technology sector only provided 14 per cent of the total employment in Australia.

The industry is still growing though, with the technology sector growing by 25 per cent over the two years of the study.

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