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Businesses to boost staff numbers next quarter

Business confidence is up if the latest survey results provided by global recruitment agency Hudson is anything to go by. The Hudson Report: Employment Expectations survey found that almost one-third of Australian businesses have indicated they are ready to take on more staff in the next quarter.

“The Australian economy kept up strong growth momentum through the December quarter last year and the unemployment rate is sitting at its lowest level in two years,” reported Mark Steyn, CEO Hudson Australia/New Zealand.

“Both of these factors are evident in the results of this quarter’s survey which clearly reflect a solid, ongoing confidence in the outlook of Australian employers.”

Almost two-thirds of the industries surveyed reported an increase in sentiment for the coming quarter compared to the March quarter. The most confident sector is still resources, with a net 55.7 percent of employers planning to hire staff in the June quarter. This is despite a decline in Queensland, probably due to the mining production and transportation issues across flood-affected areas.

The professional services industry also enjoyed a robust outlook with a net 49.4 percent of employers planning to increase staff numbers.

Of the states, Western Australia seemed the most confident with 47.4 percent looking to hire soon, while New South Wales enjoyed a boost of almost five percent with 34.1 percent of businesses intending to increase permanent headcount.

Steyn believed this was due to the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep interest rates steady. “Interest rates have now been on hold since November and are not expected to increase until the second half of 2011, which may be influencing this quarter’s lift in employer confidence in NSW.”

Talent shortage will now become more common, Steyn predicted. “Competition for employees is growing rapidly. Talent management programs will need to be well thought through and selection procedures robust for employers to identify the correct people to drive their organisations forward throughout 2011.”

Copies of the Hudson Report are available at www.au.hudson.com.

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Adeline Teoh

Adeline Teoh

Adeline Teoh is a journalist with more than a decade of publishing experience in the fields of business, education, travel, health, and project management. She has specialised in business since 2003.

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