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

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

Nearly a third (31% of employers surveyed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said they could not find suitable job candidates.

Tom Joseph, head of industry statistics at ABS, said companies did not get many applicants for open job roles – and many of those who do not have the necessary skills.

“This is in line with the strengthened job market and the current low unemployment rate,” he said.

“Companies reported that they had difficulty finding suitable construction workers, office workers, workers, salesmen and hospitality workers.

“Other jobs in demand included engineering and ICT professionals.”

To meet employment challenges, just under half (49%) of medium and large companies said they would increase wages in the first quarter of the next financial year, compared to just 29% of small businesses.

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

To increase the problems for potential employers are long visa processing times, which have jumped out to as long as 15 months for certain skilled visa flows.

In the minutes of its June meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) warned that difficulties in accessing staff put upward pressure on inflation.

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

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

A recent survey by recruitment firm Hays found that around three-quarters of Australian employers offered higher-than-expected salaries specifically for finding and retaining technology talent.

On top of that, 65% of Australian technology workers said they felt brave to ask for a pay rise this year.

More companies expect an increase in operating costs this month than in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, according to ABS.