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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Communications and Information Technology >> The information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) sector

The IT&T sector is that part of the economy which produces information technology 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 earlier.

Table 24.7 provides statistics for a selection of industries considered to be the prominent contributors to the production and distribution of IT&T goods and services. The table is based on ABS surveys conducted in respect of 1998-99 and 2000-01.

At June 2001, there were 22,475 IT&T specialist businesses in the industries surveyed. Generally, IT&T specialists are those businesses for which the income from the sale, distribution and provision of IT&T goods and services forms the greater part of the total income of the business. The number of IT&T specialist businesses in 2000-01 increased by 25% (or 4,487) since the previous survey in respect of 1998-99. This increase was mainly due to growth in the numbers of computer wholesale businesses by 50% (or 775 businesses) and of computer consultancy services businesses by 24% (or 3,350 businesses).

There were 238,521 persons working in IT&T specialist businesses at the end of June 2001, a 20% increase since June 1999. The highest increases in employment occurred in the computer services industry grouping (32%) and the wholesale trade industry grouping (30%). The manufacturing industry grouping recorded a 17% increase in employment, while the telecommunication services industry increased by 4%.

During 2000-01, IT&T specialist businesses generated a total operating profit before tax of $4,925m, representing a decline of 35% between 1998-99 and 2000-01. The telecommunication services industry generated an operating profit before tax of $4,954m, while the IT&T wholesale trade industry grouping recorded an operating loss before tax of $388m.

Income in the Australian IT&T sector continued to grow, and was approaching $78b in 2000-01, an increase of 24% between 1998-99 and 2000-01. The IT&T industry groupings contributing to this outcome were computer services, with an increase of 38%, and manufacturing and wholesale trade, which both recorded increases of 23% between 1998-99 and 2000-01. Income of the telecommunication services industry increased by 19% between 1998-99 and 2000-01.


24.7 INDUSTRIES IN THE IT&T SECTOR, Employment, income and profit

Employment
Total income
Operating profit before tax



1998-99
2000-01
1998-99
2000-01
1998-99
2000-01
no.
no.
$m
$m
$m
$m

Manufacturing
Computer and business machines
3,587
3,398
1,399
1,343
39
39
Telecommunication, broadcasting and transceiving equipment
6,235
8,373
1,681
2,341
81
70
Electronic equipment n.e.c.
-
-
-
-
-
-
Electric cable and wire
998
928
307
470
29
46
Total
10,820
12,699
3,387
4,153
148
155
Wholesale trade
Computers
26,816
38,656
15,569
20,618
672
185
Business machines and electrical and electronic equipment n.e.c.
12,411
12,327
6,717
6,704
289
-573
Total
39,227
50,983
22,285
27,323
961
-388
Telecommunication services
74,471
77,275
26,417
31,505
5,566
4,954
Computer services
Data processing
1,829
3,718
143
477
12
52
Information storage and retrieval
920
1,174
101
150
10
12
Computer maintenance
2,544
4,451
294
983
-16
31
Computer consultancy
68,779
88,222
9,972
12,927
840
110
Total
74,072
97,565
10,509
14,538
845
204
Total
198,589
238,521
62,599
77,518
7,520
4,925

Source: Information Technology, Australia, 2000-01 (8126.0).


Total income from the domestic production of selected IT&T goods and services was $50b in 2000-01, an increase of 24% between 1998-99 and 2000-01 (table 24.8). Over the two years to 2000-01, increases in income occurred in the provision of packaged software and computer services (by 33%), computer and communications hardware, equipment and cables (by 31%) and telecommunication services (by 19%).

Imports of selected IT&T goods and services totalled $17.3b during 2000-01, and mainly comprised computer and communications hardware, equipment, cables and other computer parts, and consumables ($13.5b), imports of which increased by 33% between 1998-99 and 2000-01.


24.8 IT&T GOODS AND SERVICES, Domestic production and imports

Income from domestic production
Imports


1998-99
2000-01
Change
1998-99
2000-01
Change
Industry
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%

Computer and communications hardware, equipment & cables
3,620
4,728
31
10,757
14,328
33
Packaged software and computer services
11,698
15,560
33
1,310
1,192
-9
Telecommunication services
25,175
29,910
19
1,467
1,766
20
Total
40,492
50,199
24
13,534
17,286
28

Source: Information Technology, Australia, 2000-01 (8126.0).


Research and experimental development (R&D) undertaken by the IT&T sector

Chapter 25 presents a range of R&D statistics based on various ABS surveys. The data presented here have been drawn from the ABS business sector R&D surveys for the particular ANZSIC industries covered by the IT&T sector.

During 2000-01, expenditure on R&D by the IT&T sector was $1,444m, 30% of total business sector R&D expenditure ($4,825m). In current price terms this expenditure was 23% higher than the level recorded in 1999-2000 (table 24.9).

Major IT&T research fields where R&D expenditure occurred were Computer software ($480m) and Communication technologies ($471m), each 33% of the total.

The bulk of the R&D expenditure in the IT&T sector was in the Computer services industry grouping ($602m or 42%), followed by the Manufacturing industry grouping ($325m or 23%).


24.9 R&D EXPENDITURE, By IT&T industry groupings and research field

Manufacturing
Wholesale
trade
Telecommunication
services
Computer
services
Total
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

1999-2000

Information systems and technologies
10.4
n.p.
n.p.
93.1
137.7
Computer hardware
8.3
4.0
-
5.9
18.2
Computer software
94.5
29.1
3.6
298.7
426.0
Communication technologies
99.9
102.2
107.9
14.7
324.6
Other information, computer & communication technologies
8.7
n.p.
n.p.
10.0
75.7
Total
221.8
n.p.
n.p.
422.3
982.2
Other fields
60.8
n.p.
n.p.
119.8
195.5
Total
282.6
234.8
118.2
542.1
1,177.7

2000-01

Information systems and technologies
12.2
n.p.
n.p.
95.0
119.4
Computer hardware
7.4
n.p.
n.p.
6.9
18.6
Computer software
71.7
39.6
3.8
365.3
480.4
Communication technologies
168.0
n.p.
n.p.
26.6
470.8
Other information, computer & communication technologies
7.0
76.7
80.0
16.3
180.0
Total
266.3
n.p.
n.p.
510.0
1,269.1
Other fields
58.6
n.p.
n.p.
91.6
175.0
Total
324.9
251.6
266.0
601.6
1,444.1

Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Research and Experimental Development - Business Sector.


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