5 Internet Trends Reshaping the Australian Economy

These are the 5 internet trends affecting the Australian labor market today.

In August 1870, the R.M.S Oceanic departed from Belfast—it was the first iron-hulled, steam-powered passenger steamship to traverse the Atlantic. After a brief stop in Liverpool, it took the Oceanic only nine days to reach New York, a voyage that would have taken 30 days in 1800.

This innovation reduced travel time by 70%, and it also became 75% cheaper to cross this vast distance—an economic advance that made the world significantly more connected.

In 2015, we live in a world that relies on more and more connections of this kind. The internet, automated software and smartphones have accelerated the pace of nearly every task. This makes new types of work possible, just as the speed of the steamship did nearly 150 years ago.

Here are five ways technology is reshaping the Australian economy:

1. Every company is becoming a tech company.

Software development is at the core of every industry and a key driver of innovation. Even jobs that were previously seen as relatively low skill or entry level often require specialised software experience. Take this Maitre’D job posting, for example:

Every company is becoming a tech company, as this Maitre'D job postings illustrates.

The employer demand for people with these skills is very high. The result? Skilled job seekers will have many options to choose from and employers will need creative recruitment strategies to win them over.

2. Flexible alternatives appeal to job seekers and employers alike.

According to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Indeed, after pay, flexibility is the most important requirement for Australians when choosing a job.

As Paul D’Arcy, senior vice president of marketing at Indeed, has said, “The rise of flexible alternatives through the on-demand economy is also putting pressure on this. People have other types of work they can do to protect their time.”

51% of currently employed people say that flexibility is an important factor to consider in a new job

The spread of technology means that you can often do office work from outside the office. For employers who are finding it hard to recruit for certain positions, offering flexible work options may be one way to widen the talent pool.

3. High-skilled labour is a national resource that is increasingly mobile.

A high number of Australians are interested in work abroad—25% of job seekers in Australia are searching for jobs outside the country, a relatively high percentage.

As we’re currently observing in Greece, sometimes the most mobile job seekers are the country’s highly skilled workers. The challenge for Australia is to attract new talent to the country while also retaining the existing base of skilled labour.

4. Where talent migrates, so will the smartest companies.

Throughout history, the location of natural resources has determined the location of jobs. One example is the gold rush in Australia in the 1850’s which resulted in over 370,000 immigrants arriving into Australia. By 1871, the national population had tripled to 1.7 million.

In the internet era, it’s the location of talent rather than natural resources that increasingly determines the location of jobs. Highly educated people are increasingly congregating in a few urban hubs, with 24% of the world’s educated population living in just 100 cities.

High growth companies such as Atlassian, Accenture and many startups are opening offices where pockets of talent are, such as tech hubs in cities such as Austin, Texas.

5. The internet is changing the way job seekers find their next opportunity.

The internet has opened up job search for candidates of all kinds, and Australian job seekers are no exception. 74% of people say they are either actively looking or are open to a new job. Most people hired in Australia used the internet as part of their job search, with over 44% of those surveyed having visited an online job site in the past year.

Keeping a pulse on the job market is how the savviest job seekers plan out their career, and this motivation to find the right fit is precisely what makes them attractive to employers.

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