Positive outlook for jobs in Australia in 2014

by Ray Clancy on December 10, 2013

in Australia, General Information

Australian employers report encouraging signs for job seekers in the first quarter of 2014 with 20% expecting to increase staffing levels, according to the latest employment outlook survey from Manpower.

Only 13% of employers are anticipating a decrease and 66% forecasting no change which means that the organisation’s Net Employment Outlook stands at plus 7%.

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Employers in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory reported the strongest employment outlook

The data shows that overall hiring intentions have strengthened by 4% compared with the previous quarter and employers report no change year on year.

‘Historically, the wavelength of the boom and bust cycle has been much shorter than the bottoming out that the market is experiencing now. Growth has been sluggish for most of the year, however, these results suggest we may be turning a corner in the 2014,’ said Lincoln Crawley, managing director of ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand.

‘Our results show nearly all sectors and regions in Australia are expecting a modest increase in hiring to bring in the New Year. This will be a gradual recovery and growth remains patchy within industries,’ he warned.

But he explained that there are ‘green shoots’ in various sectors across the country, including infrastructure projects in New South Wales, real estate in New South Wales, and Melbourne for niche workers in technology and healthcare.

‘We are yet to see a big uptick across the employment market, and the return to recovery will be peppered with peaks and troughs, for example, the post-election spike in business confidence has somewhat waned,’ said Crawley.

‘Against this back drop, employers are still showing hesitancy to increase permanent headcount while conditions are uncertain. We continue to see organisations looking for ways to introduce flexible approaches to improve productivity and efficiencies,’ he added.

Overall, employers in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory reported the strongest employment outlook. In the ACT, hiring outlook is expected to increase by 9% quarter on quarter to reach a Net Employment Outlook of plus 17%, while in the Northern Territory the outlook is set to improve by 2%.

In Queensland, employers expect hiring to increase by 8% quarter on quarter to a Net Employment Outlook of plus 6%, an adjustment to the market after a sharp fall last quarter. Hiring in New South Wales continue to follow the national average, rising 4% to plus 7%.

Employers in Victoria reported a slight increase in overall hiring outlook of 1% to an outlook of plus 8%. Western Australia should experience a similar increase in hiring, moving from a forecast of 4% to 5% in the first three months of the year. In Tasmania and in South Australia the Net Employment Outlooks should lift 3% to 1%, and 4% respectively.

Across the sectors employers in finance insurance and real estate and mining and construction expect the largest hiring increases, both seeing a 6% jump in outlook to 16% and 1%, respectively. The mining sector is starting to see movement in projects after a tough year, however, this activity will take time to flow through to jobs on the ground, said Crawley.

Employers in the services sector are planning to increase hiring by 4% to an Outlook of 12%, while those in the manufacturing sector also report a 4% rise to a Net Employment Outlook of 6%, the sector’s strongest outlook since the middle of 2012.

Transport and utilities should see a small increase in hiring up 2% to a Net Employment Outlook of 7% while employers in wholesale and retail trade expect no changes to hiring and the Outlook will remain at 3%. In line with federal government cut backs, the public administration and education sector is expecting a slight fall in hiring intentions, down 2% to a Net Employment Outlook of 4%.

‘The most important factors for organisations to succeed in 2014 will be adaptability, a willingness to embrace innovation at both an individual and corporate level, and the ability to look ahead in terms of human capital needs,’ Crawley said.

‘The new government has promised to work more closely with businesses and we’re all expecting a return of confidence to the market,’ he added.

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