Is the IT Sector softening?

I have been interested over the last few weeks to see the varying discussions that Australia is or is not in a recession at the moment. While the jobless figures overall are not too bad at 4.3% for July 2008 (according to the ABS), there are reports of the RBA easing interest rates due to concerns on the health of the economy. The Seek Employment Index has a 27% drop in job ads in the last 12 months.

So it was with some amusement I saw the following three articles on the Australian IT site.

Firstly from 23rd July about increases in skilled migrants entering Australia to help with our “deeping skills crisis”.

The second has NAB offshoring about 2,600 jobs over the next few months as part of a $1 billion technology restructuring program.

Finally yesterday we have an article announcing more falls in the job vacancy rates, with a fall of over 17% in the last six months.

So I have to wonder what is going on? I think I know. Yes vacancies are falling, yes people are cutting jobs and yes there is a skills crisis. The issue seems to be that many of our corporate IT workers just don’t have the right skills for the new work required.

Thoughts?