Budget 2023: Australia’s booming technology workforce faces headwinds
ACS Digital Pulse 2023 report to show sustained investment into tech talent pipelines and inclusivity must continue.
1 May 2023
Sydney, Australia - ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology workforce, today released a preview of its upcoming 2023 Digital Pulse report which highlights a multi-year boom in workforce growth, which is now being challenged by changing economic conditions.
The technology workforce in Australia experienced a significant increase in workforce in 2022, with a net increase of 57,600 workers, representing a 6.6% increase compared to 2021. This represents the 3rd largest increase in technology workers since Australia’s Digital Pulse began tracking the technology workforce back in 2014.
This growth brings the total number of tech workers in the country to 927,900 up from 870,300 in the previous year. The technology workforce is now the largest size it has ever been in Australian history.
The growth in the technology workforce also continues to outpace growth in the number of employed persons in the economy, which was 3.9% between 2021 and 2022. This means the growth in the technology workforce was 70% higher compared with the broader workforce.
However, while the overall sector experienced strong growth, the share of women in the sector fell from 31% in 2021 to 30% in 2022. In addition, 2023 saw global and Australian tech companies announce job cuts. It remains to be seen whether the recent layoffs represent a recession in the tech sector or a minor correction following the strong growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the findings, ACS CEO Chris Vein said: “The recent growth in Australia's technology workforce is positive, however, there are significant headwinds. The shrinking share of women in the tech sector is a notable concern and shows much more needs to be done on this front to make sure the benefits of a boom in tech are felt equally by all Australians.”
Mr Vein concluded: “Our message today is that with the emergence of large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and the anticipated surge in demand due to AUKUS, the tech workforce will continue to be a huge driver of Australia’s productivity growth. Australia must create programs to sustain workforce growth - whether we see a recession in the months ahead or not. By doing so, we can ensure that Australia remains a leader in the digital economy and that Australians have access to the high-quality jobs of the future."
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