Australian Bureau of Statistics
The unemployment rate increased by 0.2% in May, new statistics show, with the data potentially dampening the probability of an interest rate cut in August.
Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men and are starting to take up senior roles in traditionally male industries such as construction and agriculture, according to official figures.
The Reserve Bank hosted its first small business finance roundtable on Tuesday, with the aim of better understanding how the small business sector is financed and where there might be information gaps.
Less than 25% of workers in Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry are female, new statistics show, amid accusations that the sector is failing to retain women long-term. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Labour Market Survey for February last year – the latest figures available – there are 131,059 women employed in the ICT industry. This represents just over 24% of the total workforce. Maree Adshead, chief executive of Queensland ICT company MobileIP, is also chair of the Queensland branch of the Australian Information and Industry Association. Adshead says while this figure is higher than that of other world centres, namely Europe, it is still concerning. According to a white paper titled Women and ICT: Why are girls still not attracted to ICT studies and careers?, ICT is the major driver of growth in productivity in the European Union. Despite this, less than one in five computer scientists are female. With regard to Australia, Adshead says there is definitely a dearth of women in the ICT industry. “We debate the issue time and time again to try and solve it but there is no easy answer,” she says. According to Adshead, the entry level representation of women into the industry is high, but many do not remain in the industry for the duration of their careers. “Women come into the industry but don’t stay, and it’s the fact that they don’t stay that seems to be more pronounced in ICT than it is in other industries,” she says. “Is it because it’s a very fast-paced, technology-driven industry that once you leave you may feel is hard to get back into and catch up on what has happened since you were gone? “I don’t know. This could be part of the reason, but senior women are not easy to find.” Adshead’s comments reflect the sentiments of fellow female tech entrepreneur Kate Kendall, who believes women are put off by the male-centric mindset within the industry. “I do tend to think the tech community is a bit of a bro fest… It’s a welcoming environment to enter but it’s not an environment people want to stick around in,” Kendall told StartupSmart. “[Women are] still a long way off getting equal support and representation.” Adshead said talented women from the ICT field are highly attractive to other sectors because of their technical skills and expertise, which could also explain their departure from the sector. “ICT women seem to be in demand outside the industry. The industry spreads far beyond technically skilled people.” “ICT is home to lawyers, accountants and all manner of other professionals. I find it hard to imagine a more vibrant and exciting industry to be a part of.” “So we should be looking closely at how we attract and retain women in ICT. The ICT industry is bursting with opportunity.”
Food retailers are in for another tough year, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council CHEP Retail Index, which forecasts a modest rise in sales of just 2.1% for the June quarter.
An interest rate cut looks all but certain following a weak inflation reading, with economists expecting the Reserve Bank to ease rates by 25 basis points when it meets next week.
Start-ups are being urged to consider older workers as a viable talent pool, after the Federal Government announced it will offer a $1,000 bonus to employers who hire a worker aged 50 or over.
Facebook has announced a $US1 billion deal to buy popular smartphone photo-sharing application Instagram.
Retailers can rest assured the industry will emerge from its two-year slump next financial year, according to Deloitte Access Economics, which predicts sales to increase by 2.6% in 2012-13.
Only one quarter of Australians are considered “financially fit”, according to a new survey, but 44% of respondents say they have become more conservative in their spending habits.
Sydney Population: 4.5 million Start-up survival rate: 73.4% (2007 to 2009) While few people – even Melburnians – would dispute Sydney’s position as the financial and big business hub of Australia, the city has suffered from a series of setbacks in recent years.
Although some areas of Australia’s economy look worryingly sluggish, there is an area that is clearly booming, and it has nothing to do with mining.
A tourism lobby group has renewed calls for the government to create more incentive for entrepreneurs to invest in tourist facilities, amidst the high local dollar and a $7.2 billion deficit.
More than 15% of women with school-aged children are “under-utilised”, new statistics show, which could prompt a spike in the number of skilled, frustrated mothers becoming mumpreneurs.
Rental businesses appear to be moving beyond big-ticket items into smaller niche markets, as cautious consumers continue to look for ways to save money across all categories.
Figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics illustrate what many budding entrepreneurs have long suspected – conditions aren’t all rosy for new businesses.
Australia’s food retail sector will undergo subdued growth in the March quarter, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council CHEP Retail Index, following stronger sales in December.
Start-ups may soon be looking at the manufacturing industry with renewed enthusiasm, with a new taskforce considering the development of a smaller, more tech-savvy manufacturing sector.
Start-ups desperate to recruit staff should consider candidates in job-starved states such as South Australia, where more than five jobseekers are vying for each job vacancy, new research reveals.
The hospitality sector shouldn’t have to pay penalty rates on weekends and public holidays, a leading industry group says, because businesses in the sector are struggling to keep their doors open.