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Finding IT workers is a major problem for a third of Australian companies

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Australian companies continue to struggle to find staff, including IT professionals, as the ongoing labor shortage worsens.

Nearly a third (31% of employers de Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) respondents said they could not find suitable candidates for jobs.

Tom Joseph, head of industry statistics at ABS, said companies were not getting many applicants for open positions – and many of those that do apply do not have the required skills.

“This is in line with the improving labor market and the current low unemployment,” he said.

“Companies reported having trouble finding suitable construction workers, white-collar workers, workers, salespeople and hospitality workers.

“Other in-demand jobs included technical professions and IT professionals.”

To address hiring challenges, just under half (49%) of medium and large companies said they would increase salaries in the first quarter of the next fiscal year, compared to just 29% of the small businesses.

Only 23% of companies said they would focus on retraining or refresher training staff.

Adding to the woes of potential employers are: long visa processing times which have extended up to 15 months for certain skilled visa flows.

In the minutes of its June meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) warned that the difficulty of accessing staff was putting upward pressure on inflation.

“Companies were more willing to pass on cost increases to consumers, and in a tight labor market, workers demanded higher wages to compensate for high living costs,” the RBA said.

“In such an environment, there is an increased risk of continued high inflation, especially if expectations of higher inflation become entrenched.”

A recent survey by recruitment agency Hays found around three quarters of Australian employers offered higher-than-expected salaries specifically to find and retain technology talent.

In addition, 65% of Australian tech workers said they felt encouraged to ask for a raise this year.

According to the ABS, more companies expect a rise in operating costs this month than during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020.

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