Queensland employer confidence hits all-time low

Queensland employer confidence slumps to all-time low, according to research by recruitment company Hudson

Queensland employer confidence hits all-time low
Qld employer confidence hits all-time low, job-cuts increase

Employer confidence has slumped to an all-time low in Queensland, according to research released by recruitment company Hudson.

The latest Hudson Report Employment Expectations survey reveals employer confidence within the State has fallen to a net 3.9 percent this quarter.

The dismal figure represents a four-fold drop compared with last quarter, and a 10-fold drop from figures recorded one-year ago.

Hudson Queensland Executive General Manager, Dean Davidson, says the State’s employment landscape has changed significantly in the past six to 12 months.

"Confidence within traditionally strong sectors such as tourism and hospitality, resources, and construction, property and engineering has evaporated as employers continue to struggle with the high levels of market uncertainty," Davidson says.

"This quarter six of the 12 industries surveyed in Queensland recorded a negative level of employer confidence, meaning the number of employers in that sector planning to cut staff during the next three months outweighs the number of employers intending to increase headcount."

The survey of 899 Queensland employers reveals one-fifth (21.9 percent) intend to increase numbers, while 18 percent plan to reduce their head-count.

Davidson says the figures suggest employers are focusing on cost minimisation, but insists they should also be looking for ways to drive productivity.

"Our advice to employers is to consider making some simple changes that will improve productivity during the downturn," he says.

"These could include redeploying employees from non-revenue producing roles to revenue producing roles, shifting the business focus towards the more profitable business units for a period of time and looking at ways to assimilate the functions of employees who resign into an existing area of the business."

Results in the resources sector proved no relief to the glum outlook, with a fourth straight quarterly decline.

While 21.7 percent of employers recorded an intention to increase permanent head-count this quarter, 19.3 percent intend to cut-back.

Construction, property and engineering faired no better, with 28.8 percent of employers planning to reduce current staff.

Despite across-the-board drops confidence, Davidson says employers should look long-term before making any rash decisions.

"Whilst redundancies may be necessary in some cases, reducing staff numbers significantly should only be seen as a short-term solution," he says.

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