As many as 46 percent of IT managers will not hire new staff, according to the New Economics of IT survey by recruitment firm Hudson, and a further 24 percent will cut contractors.
The survey of 818 Australian IT managers found while 30 percent will not replace staff as they leave, half of those surveyed will focus on retaining top performers and training remaining staff.
Job prospects are looking worse still, according to March research by the CIO Executive Council, which found hires have been frozen in two-thirds of the 122 organisations surveyed.
The same research reported that 40 percent of organisations have cut jobs over the last six months and a further 58 percent have cut contractors.
Budget cuts were behind 93 percent of hiring freezes, and 87 percent of reductions in contractor spend.
Hudson ICT director Frank Wadsworth said the global financial crisis has doubt within organisations.
"The last time the ICT employment market was so dramatically affected was after Y2K, when many companies shed IT employees," Wadsworth said in a statement.
"Hiring managers are looking at a range of steps they can take to effectively manage through this period - no one wants to make redundancies - but in many instances businesses have had to react rapidly to cut costs. It's creating a volatile work environment."
A US survey by the CIO Executive Council found IT hiring freezes had increased from 46 percent in October 2008 to 59 percent in January this year.
The CIO Executive Council is part of the IDG Communications group.
This story, "IT jobs frosty as recession bites" was originally published by Computerworld Australia.