Employers ready to start hiring again

According to a leading quarterly survey, the hiring intentions of Australian employers is improving and is a clear indication that the economy is recovering.

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released this morning, the final quarter of 2009 is set to be the strongest one of the year for employment in Australia.

The survey of 2,333 employers indicated that hiring intentions for the next three months has improved, with the seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook at +7 per cent, up from +2 per cent in the last quarter.

This is mainly attributed to an increase in employers planning to increase hiring (18 per cent, up from 14 per cent in Q3) and a fall in the number planning to decrease hiring (9 per cent, compared to 14 per cent in Q3).

“Two successive quarters of improving employer forecasts are an encouraging sign that the employment market has turned the corner: the employment forecast for Australia has climbed from -1% in the second quarter to a level of cautious optimism,” said Mr Crawley.

“It’s also a testament to the resilience of the Australian labour market that we have avoided recording a negative Outlook this quarter; unfortunately, many other countries in the Manpower network have not been so fortunate.”

The findings highlighted that the wholesale and retail trade industry sectors both project a positive hiring pace in the forthcoming quarter.

But Crawley emphasised that despite the positive news, we are not out of the woods yet.

“We have already seen in our research, and in talking to employers, that skills shortages still exist in some areas of the Australian employment market, including engineers, sales professionals and trades,” he said.

While the downturn has provided a welcome respite for many organisations who had struggled to find the talent they need, it certainly won’t last forever. Smart companies will be working hard, right now, to both attract and retain top performers who will see them through the downturn and beyond.”

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