Qld employment confidence softens: Hudson report


Latest Hudson report shows just under 35pc of Qld employers plan to increase their permanent staff levels in coming months

Qld employment confidence softens: Hudson report
Qld employment confidence softens: Hudson report
October 13, 2010

Queensland employment confidence has softened slightly with a net 34.9 percent of employers planning to increase their permanent staff levels over the October-December quarter, according to a new survey.

The latest Hudson Report: Employment Expectations shows hiring intentions in Queensland have remained strong as employers continue to even out staffing levels following the significant staff reductions that were made last year.

Overall, employer sentiment in Queensland has softened marginally by 1.1pp from the last quarter, following continuous increases the previous five quarters.

Hudson Queensland Executive General Manager, Dean Davidson, says the state’s economy appears to be recovering well.

"State demand rebounded 1.4 per cent in the June quarter and business investment jumped an astounding 12.3 percent after having declined 24 percent since the December quarter 2008," Davidson says.

Following three quarters of declining sentiment previously, hiring intentions in the government sector have rebounded 10.7pp as employers begin to fill roles left vacant during 2009.

With a gradual lifting of budgetary constraints and structural reforms taking shape, senior managers are now starting to give the go-ahead for carefully considered recruitment with a net 34.9 percent reporting an intention to increase their permanent staff levels over the coming three months.

A relatively strong net 43.6 percent of employers in the construction/property/engineering industry have reported plans to increase their permanent staff levels over the coming three months, reflecting recent improvements in construction activity.

Meanwhile, the professional services industry continues to make a strong contribution to Queensland employer confidence, with a net 59.7 percent of employers indicating an intention to increase their permanent staff levels over the coming three months.

This result is down 5.1pp from last quarter.

RESOURCES, PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Hiring intentions in the resources industry have been stimulated by the progress of considerable investment projects, as resources companies respond to high commodity prices and strong demand from China.

Up 7.6pp from last quarter, a buoyant net 60.6 percent of employers indicated an intention to increase their permanent staff levels over the coming three months, the strongest result recorded across Queensland.

Employment levels in the professional services sector are very close to the levels seen prior to the global financial crisis and the supply of qualified lawyers and accountants is expected to be a concern in the coming months.

The number of skilled employees remains an issue across corporate services functions throughout the state such as accounting support, IT, human resources and marketing.

DRIVING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

According to Davidson, Australia is now seeing a sustained recovery, driven initially by high levels of public spending and now by a rebound in spending by the private sector.

"As private sector investment gains traction, the labour market is expected to firm further and skill shortages are likely to be keenly felt as early as the first half of 2011 with further pressure on wages," he says.

He says emphasis must be now be placed on employee performance.

"Competition for the best people is already fierce and employers need to put in place the right strategies and processes to ensure they are hiring the people best suited for specific roles.

"Those employers that also put significant emphasis on forward-looking recruitment strategies will be best placed to deliver on growth opportunities and increase their competitiveness as market conditions continue to improve."

Hudson’s latest survey was based on interviews with 4,182 employers across Australia.


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