Better days ahead for IT sector

08/11/2004 10:00

In the second quarter of 2004 turnover in the IT sector was 1.1 percent up on last year’s second quarter. For nine months in a row turnover is distinctly better than in 2002 and 2003. The downward trend in turnover in this sector has now been reversed.

Turnover in the IT sector

Turnover in the IT sector

Turnover on the increase since third quarter 2003

Turnover in the IT sector grew excessively until the late 1990s, a stunning average annual growth by 23 percent was realised in the period 1996-1999. After 1999 the growth rate slowed down. In the first quarter of 2002 turnover was below the level of the same period in the previous year. Subsequently the downward trend persisted, reaching a low point in the third quarter of 2003. In the fourth quarter of 2003 turnover picked up for the first time compared to 2002.

Close relation between turnover and labour volume

Labour volume and turnover in the IT sector are closely related. Labour volume as well as the number of labour years in the IT sector rose until 2001 and subsequently declined. In 2003 the amount of work in the IT sector was almost 109 thousand labour years, over twice as much as in 1995. In the peak year 2001 it was almost 2.3 times as much. Thus the upward trend in turnover in the IT sector is anticipated to have a positive effect on employment.

Turnover and labour volume IT sector

Number of vacancies rising

Whilst turnover in IT is stable, the number of unfilled vacancies is rising. From the fourth quarter of 2003 the amount of unfilled vacancies exceeds that in the same period of 2002. After a trough (1,500 vacancies) in the third quarter of 2003 their number has gradually risen to 3,800 in the second quarter of 2004. October’s economic survey published by Statistics Netherlands shows that on balance one in four entrepreneurs in the IT sector are anticipating a rise in employment in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Cees Maas