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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Communications and Information Technology >> The information technology and telecommunications sector

The Information Technology and Telecommunications (IT&T) sector is that part of the economy which produces information and telecommunications goods and services. It includes businesses involved in telecommunication services, computer services, and selected manufacturing and wholesale trade industries. The IT&T sector overlaps with part of the Communication Services Division discussed above.

Table 24.2 provides statistics for a selection of industries considered to be the predominant contributors to the production and distribution of IT&T goods and services. The table is based on ABS surveys conducted in respect of 1995-96 and 1998-99.

The Australian IT&T sector has undergone significant change over the three years to 1998-99. Total income for the sector was approaching $63b in 1998-99, an increase of 28% over 1995-96. The IT&T industries contributing to this outcome were telecommunication services, with an increase in income of 39% since 1995-96 (for more detail see table 24.4), wholesale trade with a rise of 31%, computer services with a rise of 30% and manufacturing with a fall of 31%.

At June 1999, Australia's IT&T sector consisted of 18,072 IT&T businesses, an increase of 34% (or 4,537 businesses) since June 1996. This increase was mainly due to an increase in the number of computer consultancy businesses. There were 199,341 persons working in IT&T businesses at June 1999, a 2% decrease from 1996. Employment increased in computer services by 35% and in wholesale trade by 1%. This was offset by decreases in manufacturing of 39% and telecommunication services of 19%.


24.2 INDUSTRIES IN THE IT&T SECTOR, Income and Employment

Total income

Employment

Industry
1995-96

$m
1998-99

$m
Percentage change

%
1995-96

no.
1998-99

no.
Percentage change

%

Manufacturing
- Computer and business machines
1,934
1,146
-41
5,755
2,461
-57
- Telecommunication, broadcasting and transceiving equipment
1,660
1,508
-9
7,335
5,125
-30
- Electronic equipment n.e.c.
99
345
248
836
1,959
134
- Electric cable and wire
1,073
307
-71
3,369
997
-70
- Total
4,766
3,306
-31
17,295
10,542
-39
Wholesale trade
- Computers
12,255
15,748
29
26,599
27,212
2
- Business machines and electrical and electronic equipment n.e.c.
5,071
7,004
38
13,030
12,725
-2
- Total
17,326
22,752
31
39,629
39,936
1
Telecommunication services
18,734
26,083
39
91,701
74,467
-19
Computer services
- Data processing
925
n.p.
n.p.
5,291
7,174
36
- Information storage and retrieval
180
100
-45
994
908
-9
- Computer maintenance
903
n.p.
n.p.
5,032
2,519
-50
- Computer consultancy
6,080
8,680
43
43,711
63,794
46
- Total
8,088
10,474
30
55,028
74,395
35
Total
48,913
62,616
28
203,653
199,341
-2

Source: Information Technology, Australia, 1998-99 (8126.0).


Revenue from the domestic production of IT&T goods and services in 1998-99 was nearly $40b, 28% higher than in 1995-96. Telecommunication services (rise of 40%) and packaged software and computer services (rise of 32%) recorded large increases. However, production of manufactured IT&T goods decreased by 24% or $1.2b over the three year period. The decline in domestic production of manufactured IT&T goods was offset by a 21%, or $1.9b, increase in imports of these products.


24.3 IT&T GOODS AND SERVICES, Domestic Production and Imports

Domestic production

Imports

Industry
1995-96

$m
1998-99

$m
Percentage change

%
1995-96

$m
1998-99

$m
Percentage change

%

Computer/telecommunications equipment, etc.
4,805
3,650
-24
8,904
10,757
21
Packaged software and computer services
8,583
11,342
32
745
1,310
76
Telecommunication services
17,773
24,872
40
1,060
1,467
38
Total
31,161
39,864
28
10,709
13,534
26

Source: Information Technology, Australia, 1998-99 (8126.0).

Science and innovation concludes with a Special Article on Research and Experimental Development in IT&T. The topic is examined in two dimensions: R&D undertaken in IT&T disciplines and R&D undertaken by the Australian IT&T industry.

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