Short-term ICT contracts of less than three months have spiked over the past nine months, reflecting an industry that is "treading water" rather than commit to long-term projects, according to the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA).
In the second quarter of 2012, contracts of between one and three months made up 35 percent of all ICT contract placements.
"[By contrast], in the third quarter of 2011, contracts between one to three months accounted for 16 per cent of all contract placements made," ITCRA chief executive officer Julie Mills said.
"Conversely, longer contracts of seven to 12 months accounted for 36.5 percent of all placements in the third quarter of 2011, while in the most recent quarter this dropped to only 23.47 per cent of placements."
By skill set, the highest paid technical skill for contractors was C# programming, which earned contractors an average $152.34 an hour during the most recent quarter.
Contractors with SAP skills were also well paid -- $119.54 an hour -- and Cisco skills, which could command $103.21 an hour.
The most recent quarter was not a good one for business intelligence consultants. Placements for those roles fell by 23 percent quarter-on-quarter.