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Job vacancies plummet 17.7% as employer anxiety grows

Job vacancies have plummeted 17.7 percent since March, falling a 13.7 per cent in May, following a 4 percent drop in April, according to the latest monthly data from IPA.

Job AdsRabieh Krayem, CEO of IPA, said employers were showing increased nervousness about their prospects, despite a low unemployment rate. “Lately, I’m coming across more pessimists than optimists among employers. They have been spooked by a stream of bad news including the European sovereign debt crisis, the volatility on the local stock exchange, and the steady rise in interest rates. We missed out on the worse of the GFC, but many are fearful we might finally have a real GFC coming.

The vocal campaign by the mining industry against the proposed mining super profits tax has further unsettled the broader employment market said Krayem.

“The mining tax issue is probably having more impact on the jobs market outside of the mining industry than inside it.  Mining companies are continuing to take on people and the Queensland market has reflected this over the past month. The debate appears to have caused a sense of trepidation in other sectors, translating to employers taking more cautious steps in recruitment.”

Krayem points to continued weaknesses in the jobs market for the retail, construction and tourism sectors. Which countered Hays’ 2010 Salary Survey findings released yesterday that pointed to continued strength in the retail sector.

“Recent high-profile receiverships in the retail and construction sectors highlight how bad things are.  It’s hard to see when employment growth will return to these sectors. The expectation that the RBA may hold interest rates steady for a while may eventually help them while a lower dollar could assist the tourism jobs market.”

On the supply side, Krayem believes the pool of candidates is changing in profile.

“I believe prospective job hunters are also becoming more wary. The appetite for change has lessened for employees compared to earlier in the year, and there are fewer high performers changing roles. Employers will need to work harder to get the best people.”

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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