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Employers report caution when hiring

Just 26% of Australian businesses expect to increase hiring in the next three months, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which found the Retail and Manufacturing sectors are holding back the rest of the employment market.

The survey of more than 2,200 employers found hiring expectations for the quarter fell 3 percent, whilst the number of businesses planning to decrease hiring rose from 6 percent to 9 percent.

As a result, Australia’s Net Employment Outlook has declined slightly quarter-over-quarter and by a more moderate margin year-over-year, but still stands at +19 percent.

ManpowerGroup ANZ Managing Director Lincoln Crawley said the national employment market is being held back by nervousness in several industries – namely Retail, Manufacturing and Public Administration.

“Employers in these sectors have a heavy burden right now. There is a lot of pressure on government coffers, and the tightening in public service spending has had a big impact on hiring intentions for public administration,” Crawley said.

“Similarly, the strong dollar is increasing interest rate fears and dampened consumer spending. This is putting pressure on the retail and manufacturing sectors and therefore the job market in those sectors as well,” he added.

In comparison, employers in the Mining and Construction, Services, Transport and Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sectors are all reporting very positive hiring intentions.

“What we’re seeing, particularly in Mining & Construction, is a consistent and strong demand for workers. And while there is little change from quarter to quarter in these sectors, we believe that employers may not be as bullish in announcing their hiring intentions because they are having enough trouble filling the positions that are already available in the market,” Crawley said.

Crawley suggests companies now need to think more carefully about their workforce strategy and develop a long-term approach.

“It would be unthinkable for a company not to consider the quality and availability of raw material when developing a long-term business strategy. A beverage manufacturer, for example, would not plot its future growth strategy without identifying a sustainable supply of aluminium to manufacture cans. Businesses must now look at their workforce through a similar lens,” he said

Net Employment Outlook Comparison

Industry Q3 2011 / Quarter-on-quarter change / Year-on-year change

National +19 percent / -2 percent / -5 percent
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate +29 percent / 0 percent / +3 percent
Mining & Construction +26 percent / 0 percent / -5 percent
Manufacturing +15 percent / +1 percent / -3 percent
Wholesale & Retail Trade +13 percent / -2 percent / -2 percent
Transport & Utilities +28 percent / +11 percent / -4 percent
Public Admin/Education +15 percent / -1 percent / -7 percent
Services +24 percent / -4 percent / -2 percent

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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