Employment rate concern
LOW consumer and business confidence is affecting the state’s unemployment rate, which remains above the national average, says Business SA.
Its Survey of Business Expectations for the March 2011 quarter reveals the South Australian confidence index decreased by 3 per cent from the previous quarter to 92 points.
It is a turnaround from slight rises that occurred during the second half of 2010.
Chief executive Peter Vaughan says the economy remains under pressure.
He says businesses are concerned about the outlook, which affects their hiring capability and intentions.
‘‘Almost three quarters of respondents expect labour costs to increase in the June quarter,’’ he says.
‘‘More than a quarter of respondents found skilled labour harder to source than the previous quarter, however, nearly half expect the unemployment rate to remain steady in the June quarter.
‘‘Following recent natural devastations across the country, demand for skilled labour will no doubt continue in the months ahead.’’
He says overhead costs are increasing and exports are down, which is affecting business bottom line.