Hiring intentions up in transport and utilities

Employer optimism in the transportation and utilities sector grows, despite spate of job cuts and fluctuating unemployment rates across industries

By Sean Muir | March 16, 2011

Employer optimism in the transportation and utilities sector has grown, despite a spate of job cuts and fluctuating unemployment rates across all industries.

A Manpower Group survey shows transport and utility employer optimism has jumped 7 percent, making it the only industry to record year-on-year growth.

Conversely, for the third consecutive quarter, hiring expectations were weakest among employers in the manufacturing sector, declining by 2 percent since last quarter, and 10 percentage points weaker than the same time last year.

Australia and New Zealand Manpower Group Managing Director Lincoln Crawley says the results support the notion that structural changes are occurring in the employment market, where some sectors flourish and others contract.

"In this context, both employers and jobseekers need to stay flexible and respond accordingly," he says.

"Employers in hot industries, who continue to struggle with skills shortages, may need to reassess their job criteria and look for a ‘teachable fit’ – that is, candidates who meet most criteria but need further training in other areas."

"This is particularly relevant for candidates coming from other industries who have the fundamental skills but require specific training to fill the gaps."

The survey, which measured hiring intentions for the coming quarter, showed the net employment outlook steady for the second quarter of 2012.

It also revealed 24 percent of Australian employers expected to increase employee numbers, while only 11 percent planned to decrease.

"With some high-profile companies cutting jobs and unemployment figures fluctuating, it’s tempting to think the jobs outlook is getting worse," Crawley says.

"The conversations we’re having with clients at the moment are around creating talent strategies to bring the right skills into their organisation, maximise productivity and ensure they have a strong talent pipeline for the future."

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