A sustained national recovery in the IT and communications jobs market may not kick in until at least March next year, recruiter Candle ICT's chief has said.
David Stewart said that demand and supply of ICT workers was "almost level after several quarters of oversupply".
In particular, Stewart said that demand for "revenue-generating roles" such as business development managers and IT sales executives was up, "which was typically the case when businesses saw a recovery on the horizon.
"Once these people begin to secure sales, increased demand for more specialist skills to undertake the work the sales executives have signed up normally follows," he said.
"We are bouncing along the bottom at the moment. You'll see bursts of demand in some sectors or States in different months but while there are early signals of a recovery we are yet to experience it.
"While the decision makers feel confident enough to spend some money, they won't actively recruit new people until they see healthier bottom lines. And with Christmas approaching we wouldn't expect companies to be loosening the purse strings until after the New Year period."
Candle ICT reported "mixed signals" from the states on what sort of roles were in demand.
Permanent recruitment was "at a very low level" in Canberra with speculation that government departments were filling vacant permanent positions with existing contracting staff.
In Queensland, contract and permanent recruitment has picked up slightly in the commercial space, but the state government there still favoured converting contractor roles into permanent positions.
Stewart predicted skills shortages in Western Australia "in the middle of next year" as applications and infrastructure professionals are required to support major projects such as the Gorgon gas pipeline.
In South Australia, shortages of Cisco, Windows, Linux administrators were evident, Stewart said.