International executive search specialists E.L Consult has published its E.L Executive Demand index, finding that executives should expect to face a continuing weakening job market for the remainder of 2011.


However, the company found that the finance sector was one of two areas that experienced a growth in overall executive demand.


E.L Consult's research indicates that the demand for financial executives came from both private and government sectors, with the majority of the business sector's demand for executives coming from the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria. However, the other states and territory's also showed a positive upwards trend in demand for ICT executives.


The E.L Executive Demand index fell a further 2 per cent in August to its lowest level so far this year.


E.L's Managing Director, Grant Montgomery, warned that the market shows no immediate sign of recovery within the next six months.


"The outlook with Australian executive market is trending downwards and this could continue for the next six months," Mr Montgomery said.


"The macroeconomic environment is quite concerning. Interest rates are at global highs, the Australian currency is near post-float highs and most developed economies are continuing to slow."


Executive demand has fallen two out of the last three months according to data released by the company. However, Mr Montgomery expressed his confidence that executive demand would return to growth in mid to late 2012.


"In such an environment we are likely to see further falls in executive demand up to the end of 2011 and into 2012, whereupon we expect to see some signs of recovery in the executive demand market," Mr Montgomery said.


E.L's findings come as Westpac predicts the overall jobless rate could hit 5.5 per cent by mid-2012 as structural change linked with dour consumer sentiment, high interest rates and the high Australian dollar further dampens domestic demand.


Figures released by the company show that demand for ICT executives surged by 23 per in the August period, despite an overall significant downward trend in overall demand for executives.