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Executive Summary

July 2021

NSW shutdown knocks the wind out of executive hiring.

Information Technology blitzes all the sectors as companies ramp up cyber communications in a COVID world. Accountants in demand as end of financial year reporting looms  

Fears of the COVID-19 crisis in New South Wales has knocked the wind out of the stella growth in executive hiring with demand rising just 1 per cent in June, according to E.L. Consult's executive demand index. Previously the Index rose in double digits six times in the past seven months. Mr Grant Montgomery, Managing Director of E.L Consult, the executive search firm that researches the E.L. Executive Demand Index, said: "While new executive positions are booming and are now well above pre-COVID levels, the shutdown of NSW in particular has knocked some of the confidence in the rebuilding period speed post-COVID. "Business leaders, are cautiously holding back on hiring as they realise that Covid is still with us and continues to demand respect. "The Australian economy is clearly continuing to go well and financial markets continue to be at their highs. Interest rates continue to be at record lows, property continues to boom and demand is generally up. "However, New South Wales which has generally had COVID under control has faltered - It is Australia's most economically important state and business confidence there impacts across the nation. Hence why we have seen a reduction in the growth of the Index in June." Across the sectors, Information Technology saw the strongest gains for the second consecutive month. Mr Montgomery said: "Demand for IT executives continues to climb as businesses invest heavily in cyber communications. "It is now becoming increasingly obvious that communication such as zoom is an important part of today's business landscape and even more a key measure of corporate efficiency and productivity. "Gains in IT that may have taken a decade to implement have only taken a couple of years given the effects of COVID and the spotlight it has put on the efficiencies available through IT improvements. The Management Index - a key indicator of hiring in the government sector - was flat. This is as usual in June each year as public sectors budgets run out before the new financial year budgets kick in. "Conversely, hiring in the financial sector was strong - up five per cent - as the demands of completing the mechanics of the end of the financial year kick in. Senior accountants and financial managers are in demand to complete and audit the regular accounts." Said Grant Montgomery "In the Engineering area, spending is continuing strongly as governments not only in Australia but elsewhere see heavy infrastructure spending as the path to salvation." Overall, Marketing was the worst performer as the confidence levels in the economy were affected by NSW's COVID experience. All other sectors were either higher or flat. Performances were mixed through the country, with Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT falling from previous levels. All other regions were higher, with the stalwart state, New South Wales, only rising one per cent in the midst of the COVID experience.

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