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Hiring remains steady despite global uncertainty

4 August 2011:
  • Almost 30% of companies are planning to increase staff numbers in the third quarter
  • Some 82% of employers expect business conditions to remain stable or improve over coming months
  • 64% of employers expect the unemployment rate to remain stable over the next six months

Employers in Australia will continue their steady investment in new headcount despite ongoing global market uncertainty, according to the latest Michael Page Employment Index.

Some 65% of the employers surveyed will be maintaining current staffing levels in the third quarter. A further 28% are planning to increase headcount; a result consistent with second quarter hiring intentions.

“These key indicators tell us that despite concerns around global economic conditions, the strong dollar and interest rates, employers in Australia are generally comfortable with domestic business conditions and intend to continue their targeted investment in new headcount,” said Phillip Guest, Managing Director of Michael Page, Australia and New Zealand.

The vast majority of employers surveyed (82%) believe that business conditions in Australia will remain stable or improve over coming months. A further 64% of respondents also expect the low unemployment rate to remain steady.

“We know that economic and political conditions overseas are impacting both business and consumer sentiment here in Australia, but it’s important to remember that these impacts vary considerably by sector. On the whole, our research suggests that employers are generally positive about the domestic business environment,” said Mr. Guest.

Employers in currency exposed sectors like manufacturing and tourism consider the strength of the Australian dollar to be the primary issue confronting their business in the third quarter. In the mining and resources sector, concerns centre around the attraction and retention of talent, as well as the rising cost of salaries.

“Ongoing global uncertainty will continue to affect the recruitment decisions of employers. Despite these concerns, it is encouraging to see that the steady pace of hiring activity we have seen across professional markets in Australia is set to continue over the third quarter,” said Mr. Guest.