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New Labour Hire Index Mirrors Federal Government ICT Activity

by Staff Writers •
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The Peoplebank Intermedium Federal ICT Labour Hire Index, to be launched in Canberra tomorrow (Tuesday), closely reflects the recent history of Government ICT demand and activity.

The Peoplebank Intermedium Index aims to track and predict movements in the Federal ICT labour hire market through a statistical indicator that reflects developments and trends in the Government ICT marketplace.

It shows an upward trend in the market for labour hire services since the 2003-04 base year, but there are significant fluctuations evident arising from changes in Government activity.

2003-04 was a period of low demand for contract labour following Y2K and the dot com bust. It was also a period of relatively low levels of Government spending, and as a result, the demand for contractors was down.

Sustained growth emerged in 2004 with key agencies such as the ATO, Centrelink, Medicare and Customs kicking off major programs. These projects, followed by others in Defence, built momentum over the following two years, progressively absorbing the supply of contracts in the Canberra market.

In April 2006, the Department of Immigration commenced its major Systems for People project, establishing a series of labour hire panels with a requirement for 150 highly skilled ICT contractors. Steady growth arising from these projects produced the first major peak in demand, with the Index almost doubling from its 2003-04 base.

This demand was sustained through 2007, when virtually all key agencies engaged programs ahead of the Federal Election. In addition, major vendors were openly competing for contractor skills, followed by a second round of demand from Immigration. This coincided in July with the annual renewal of longer term contracts by agencies, and as a consequence, the Index peaked in August-September 2007 at more than double the Index base 1,000 just three years earlier.

The intervention of the Federal Election ‘cooled’ the market later in 2007 as agencies went into caretaker mode adopting a conservative approach. Contract activity stalled, and the Index fell.

The change of Government brought with it some return to ‘business as usual’, but also the 2% efficiency dividend cut that affected agency budgets in the remainder of the 2007-08 financial year.

For information about the Index, contact Tim Conway, Head of Research at Intermedium on 02 9955 9896Further information about this market is available from Intermedium's ICT Labour Hire Market Report, one of Intermedium's comprehensive reports on the Federal Government ICT Labour Hire market.

An annual report is now available for the 2007-08 financial year. It contains information onSize of the market and comparison with 2006-07 financial year

  • Contracts by value range
  • Top 25 suppliers (number and value of contracts)
  • Top 25 agencies (number and value of contracts)
  • Top suppliers in Top 25 agencies

Intermedium also publishes quarterly reports on the current financial year in the same format as the annual report. To obtain a sample report, and for more information, contact Fleur Bayley on 02 9955 9896

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