WORKOUT Hiring confidence takes a small hit
REFLECTING the rough patch that world economies are going through, Australian employers have shown a lower level of confidence.
The latest Hudson survey of 7195 hiring managers in Australia shows about 38 per cent wish to recruit more staff during the second quarter. This is about 5 per cent less than during the first quarter.
But it is not a matter for concern, says Gary Lazzarotto, managing director of Hudson Australia/New Zealand.
The drop represents a correction in the rising optimism shown during the past two years, he says.
‘‘ There has been an expectation for some time that factors such as ongoing interest rate rises, turbulence in global financial markets, increasing credit costs and considerable share market volatility could impact employer confidence,’’ Lazzarotto says.
Western Australia recorded the highest level of employer confidence, with 48 per cent intending to increase staff levels. South Australia was close behind, with 47 per cent. ACT sank to the lowest level in four years, to 25 per cent.
Among the industry sectors, property and engineering continued to show an uptrend, with 57 per cent of employers wishing to increase hiring activity.
‘‘ The solid result construction, property and engineering sector is being driven by the strong results for the sector in NSW and Victoria, with both states seeing high levels of activity in public infrastructure projects, including roads, hospitals and energy works,’’ Lazzarotto says.
‘‘ The demand for engineers in South Australia is also impacting this sector, due to the escalation of major local resource projects and a continuing increase in exploration incentives for mining companies.’’
The financial services sector showed the largest decline in confidence, which could be attributed to the global loss of confidence in the sector, according to Lazzarotto.
‘‘ This quarter’s results are a reality check for employers and job seekers. With the combination of a tight job market and current economic situation, there is little surprise that employers have lowered their expectations for increasing headcount,’’ he says. ‘‘ Smart employers will maximise their current talent by continuing to invest in their people.’’