Hiring intentions in the transport industry take a hit, but demand for truck drivers will continue into 2012
December 13, 2011
Hiring intentions for the transport industry in the first quarter of 2012 have taken a hit despite strong demand for truck drivers expected to continue into the New Year.
ManpowerGroup’s latest employment outlook survey notes a 3 percent drop in the number of transport and utilities companies expecting to increase their headcount between January and March.
The recruitment and training firm’s survey says 24 percent of employers still expect to increase hiring, but the number of those planning on reducing workforce numbers has almost doubled to 11 percent compared to the previous survey.
ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Lincoln Crawley says transport employers are pulling back on expanding their workforce due to global economic uncertainty. He also blames a fall in demand for services.
“The transport sector is a huge supplier for the mining and construction sector and the retail and wholesale trade sectors. Hiring intentions in these sectors have fallen and that is flowing through to transport needs,” he says.
“Nonetheless, transport companies are still competing resources companies for particular skills, with high demand expected to continue for truck drivers with both medium combination and heavy combination licences, and forklift drivers.”
Despite the dip in transport hiring intentions, the figure is slightly above the national average. ManpowerGroup says 23 percent of Australian employers are expecting to increase hiring in the March quarter while the number of those eyeing a decrease is at 10 percent.
Crawley says employers, on balance, are remaining optimistic in the face of the economic gloom, much of which has emanated from Europe.
“It’s heartening to see that almost one in four employers are planning to grow their workforce as 2012 kicks off,” he says.
However, Crawley anticipates a tough year ahead for manufacturing due to the strong Australian dollar and says retailers will also struggle as cautious consumers look to save money.
“Australian job seekers are caught in the middle, with opportunities in these sectors shrinking significantly,” he says.