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Hiring pace in Australia expected to remain modest

However, the survey indicates that employer hiring intentions remain little changed in comparison to forecasts reported three months ago and last year at this time.

The survey, for Q2 2015, asks the hiring intentions of over 1,500 employers in Australia for the coming quarter. It found that 21 per cent plan to increase hiring, 11 per cent plan to decrease hiring and 67 per cent will make no changes to their hiring plans. Once the data is seasonally adjusted, the resulting Net Employment Outlook (NEO) is 8% and is unchanged quarter-on-quarter and relatively stable year-on-year.

Lincoln Crawley, managing director of ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand says the stable employment outlook reflects the mixed economic and market signals affecting business confidence.

"Low growth, falling wages and lower consumer confidence coupled with uncertainty about Federal Government leadership is causing many Australian employers to throttle down their hiring plans for Quarter 2 or stop them altogether."

"There are some bright spots. However, we’re not seeing clear signs that hiring activity will gain any additional traction in the next three months, and employers are expecting to contend with another year of certain uncertainty in Australia," said Crawley.

Employers in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sectors reported the strongest outlook, with an NEO of 18 per cent. Meanwhile, opportunities for job seekers are favourable in the Services industry, which reported an NEO of 13 per cent and had the strongest quarter on quarter increase of all industry sectors. Manufacturing is also showing encouraging signs of improvement, with a 2% increase quarter-on-quarter and a 7% increase year on year.

Public Administration, Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade and Transportation and Utilities employers reported the weakest outlook quarter on quarter, with a slight decrease of five, four and two percentage points respectively. The Wholesale Trade & Retail Trade and Transportation and Utilities sectors also saw a considerable decrease of 10 percentage points year on year.

"Finance, Real Estate and Insurance remains one of the best performing sectors. The Financial Services Inquiry and recommendations that were handed down earlier this year have put a spotlight on insurance, financial advice and superannuation. We’re seeing larger companies beef up their risk and compliance teams due to the increased focus on the sector."

"Low interest rates and continued high demand have caused a boom in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets driving work there. State government is also seeing a return to hiring in some of the larger states," he said.

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