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Australia Hiring Expectations - Quarter 2, 2014

NSW EMPLOYMENT EXPECTATIONS AT 21-MONTH HIGH WHILE NATIONAL OUTLOOK HOLDS STEADY

Dean Davidson, EGM, Hudson Recruitment Australia

“There has been movement at a state level, the most significant being a 5pp increase in intention to hire in NSW, giving it the strongest employment outlook of all states – and its highest level since Q3 2012 – with 27.9% expecting to hire.”

Click on the graphs to view key findings


Key Findings

  • Positive hiring intentions dipped slightly across Australia, down 0.1pp quarter in quarter to 23.3%
  • The percentage of employers maintaining their workforce also dropped slightly, by 0.9pp to 65.4%, with the number of employers looking to decrease headcount increasing by 0.9pp to 12.1%


Key Findings

  • For the second quarter running, Professional Services has the highest proportion of employers expecting to increase headcount, up 3.2pp to 40.9%
  • Information Technology and Financial Services/Insurance came second and third, at 33.5% and 29.2% respectively
  • Positive hiring intentions in the Manufacturing sector increased this quarter by 4pp to 14.8%, with the majority looking to keep headcount steady
  • One in five employers surveyed in the Resources and Mining sector are looking to decrease their headcount, up 9.5pp versus last quarter
  • The Government sector is keeping staffing levels steady this quarter, with 14.6% looking to increase headcount and the same percentage of employers looking to cut staff

KEY FINDINGS

  • Positive hiring intentions dipped slightly across Australia, down 0.1pp quarter on quarter to 23.3%
  • NSW has the highest positive hiring intentions this quarter, moving from 4th to 1st place, up 5pp to 27.9%
  • For the second quarter running, Professional Services has the highest proportion of employers expecting to increase headcount, up 3.2pp to 40.9%
  • The Government sector is keeping staffing levels steady this quarter, with 14.6% looking to increase headcount and the same percentage of employers looking to cut staff
  • The Legal profession topped the chart this quarter with 39.6% of employers looking to increase headcount in Q2, followed by Financial Services and Office Support
  • On the other hand, Technical & Engineering dropped by a considerable 12.6pp, bringing this profession to the bottom of the list, with 28.9% of employers surveyed looking to decrease staffing levels in Q2
Click on the graphs to view key findings


Key Findings

  • NSW has the highest positive hiring intentions this quarter, moving from 4th to 1st place, up 5pp to 27.9%
  • The rest of the states registered a drop in positive hiring intentions quarter on quarter, except for Victoria, where intentions remain the same
  • ACT and QLD have the largest percentage of employers looking to decrease headcount in Q2, at 16.3% and 15.2% respectively
  • Positive hiring intentions in Western Australia dropped by 3.7pp to 20.2% with the majority (67%) keeping headcount steady
  • South Australia moved down one spot below NSW in the rankings, with 24.7% of employers surveyed looking to increase headcount in Q2, down 1pp


Key Findings

  • Nationally, positive contracting hiring intentions have increased by 0.7pp to 19.1%, for the second consecutive quarter
  • The ICT profession retains its top spot in the chart, with positive hiring intentions up 2pp in Q2, followed by Public Sector and Human Resources
  • The majority of other professions are looking to increase their staffing levels, including Accounting & Finance and Technical & Engineering, up by 1.8pp and 3.6pp respectively
  • Positive hiring intentions for the Sales, Marketing & Communications and Office Support professions dipped slightly, down by 1.5pp and 4.9pp respectively

COMMENTARY FROM HUDSON

  • Hiring intentions among Australian organisations remain steady at a national level. However, there has been movement at a state level, the most significant being a 5pp increase in intention to hire in NSW. This gives it the strongest employment outlook of all states and its highest level since Q3 2012 with 27.9% of employers expecting to hire this quarter.

    The improvement in NSW’s employment outlook is being driven by hiring expectations in the Professional Services, Information Technology and Financial Services industries. With NSW’s strengthening economic growth we’re seeing a sizeable employment increase in professional service businesses, while organisations continue to drive and leverage operational efficiencies via IT infrastructure enhancements and IT outsourcing.

    Over the last 12 months intentions to hold headcounts steady in WA have been at their highest levels ever recorded by The Hudson Report. Across mining, energy, engineering and contracting, employers have had less appetite to actively recruit for new positions or replace vacant roles immediately, as they watch and wait for the next signal from the market.

    We’ve seen a significant swing towards maintaining headcount in the ACT and we suspect the introduction of the Australian Public Service Commission’s interim recruitment arrangements in November 2013 have had a significant impact here. Government agencies are ensuring there are no displaced employees within the agency or on the redeployment register suitable for a vacancy before seeking the APS Commissioner’s approval to recruit.

    Hudson is encouraged to see the lift in hiring intentions for Human Resources. Investment in HR happens when organisations are looking to get more active with their talent, and is a good lead indicator of positive intent.

    In all, sentiment is still cautious in the Australian labour market as a whole, which these findings and economic data support. As always, developing a workforce with the right capabilities, skills, behavioural and motivational fit is key for organisations looking to equip themselves for success in today's tougher operational environment.



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The Hudson Report is an established employment trend report, based on in-depth and nationwide research.

Released every quarter, this report highlights key hiring trends gathered from interviews with 2,600 employers in Australia.

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