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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> Communications and information technology >> The information and communication technology (ICT) sector

The ICT sector is that part of the economy which produces information and communication technology goods and services. It includes businesses involved in telecommunication services, computer services, and selected manufacturing and wholesale trade industries. The ICT sector overlaps with the Communication Services Division discussed earlier.

Table 23.9 provides statistics for a selection of industries considered to be the prominent contributors to the production and distribution of ICT 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 ICT specialist businesses in the industries surveyed. Generally, ICT specialists are those businesses for which the income from the sale, distribution and provision of ICT goods and services forms the greater part of the total income of the business. The number of ICT specialist businesses in 2000-01 increased by 25% (or 4,487) in the two-year period 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 ICT 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%). Income in the ICT sector continued to grow, and was $77.5b in 2000-01, an increase of 24% between 1998-99 and 2000-01. During 2000-01, ICT specialist businesses generated a total operating profit before tax of $4,925m, representing a decline of 35% between 1998-99 and 2000-01.

23.9 INDUSTRIES IN THE ICT SECTOR, Employment, income and profit(a)

Employment
Total income
Operating profit before tax



1998-99
2000-01
1998-99
2000-01
1998-99
2000-01
Industry
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

(a) The data relates to ICT specialist businesses within the industries in the ICT sector. See source Glossary for definition of ICT specialist businesses.
Source: Information Technology, Australia, 2000-01 (8126.0).

Total income from the domestic production of selected ICT goods and services was $50.2b in 2000-01, an increase of 24% between 1998-99 and 2000-01. Imports of selected ICT goods and services totalled $17.3b during 2000-01, and mainly comprised computer and communications hardware, equipment, cables and other computer parts, and consumables ($14.3b), imports of which increased by 33% between 1998-99 and 2000-01 (table 23.10).

23.10 ICT GOODS AND SERVICES, Domestic production and imports

Income from domestic production
Imports


1998-99
2000-01
1998-99
2000-01
Commodity
$m
$m
$m
$m

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

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

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

Science and innovation presents a range of R&D statistics based on various ABS surveys. The data presented in table 23.11 have been drawn from the ABS business sector R&D surveys for all businesses in the ANZSIC industries covered by the ICT sector.

During 2001-02, expenditure on R&D by the ICT sector was $1,682m, 30% of total business sector R&D expenditure ($5,546m). In current price terms this expenditure was 12% higher than the level recorded in 2000-01 (table 23.11).

Major ICT research fields where R&D expenditure occurred were Computer software ($549m) and Communication technologies ($543m), 33% and 32% respectively of the total.

The bulk of the R&D expenditure in the ICT sector was in the Computer services industry grouping ($723m or 43%), followed by the Telecommunications service industry grouping ($360m or 21%) and the Manufacturing industry grouping ($354.7m or 21%).

23.11 R&D EXPENDITURE, By ICT industry groupings and research field

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

2000-01

Information systems and technologies
13.9
n.p.
n.p.
96.3
122.7
Computer hardware
7.4
n.p.
n.p.
8.2
18.6
Computer software
91.7
33.2
3.8
389.6
518.2
Communication technologies
168.1
n.p.
n.p.
31.9
470.7
Other information, computer and communication technologies
7.9
76.7
80.1
15.4
180.2
Total ICT fields
289.0
n.p.
n.p.
541.4
1,310.4
Other fields
81.3
n.p.
n.p.
87.2
188.0
Total
370.2
233.2
266.3
628.7
1,498.4

2001-02

Information systems and technologies
12.9
2.8
11.8
109.7
137.2
Computer hardware
7.5
n.p.
n.p.
5.0
18.4
Computer software
85.2
46.4
13.1
404.0
548.6
Communication technologies
124.0
n.p.
n.p.
103.7
543.4
Other information, computer and communication technologies
35.6
n.p.
n.p.
19.8
245.8
Total ICT fields
265.3
n.p.
n.p.
642.2
1,493.5
Other fields
89.4
n.p.
n.p.
80.7
188.5
Total
354.7
244.5
359.9
722.9
1,681.9

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


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