Optimistic outlook on employment for the New Year


Australian job seekers could be in store for a happy New Year, with employers reporting considerably stronger hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, according to a recent Employment Outlook Survey conducted by Manpower, a world leader in the employment services industry.

The survey of more than 2000 Australian employers indicates hiring intentions for the next three months have dramatically improved, with the seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook at +19 per cent, up from +8 per cent in the last quarter.

The surge is due to an increase in the proportion of employers planning to increase hiring (26 per cent, up from 18 per cent in Q4 2009) and a fall in the number planning to decrease hiring (7 per cent, compared to 9 per cent in Q4 2009).

The figures indicate job seekers should start the New Year with employment opportunities similar to those seen before the global downturn.

“These results confirm the progress toward recovery we began to see in the final quarter of 2009. Australia appears to have turned a corner, with hiring intentions closer to the pace we saw before the downturn hit,” said Mr Lincoln Crawley, managing director, Manpower Australia & NZ.

“Employers are gearing up for growth, and looking to put the right people in place to drive that growth,” said Mr Crawley.

“For job seekers and disengaged employees, the beginning of 2010 could be the time to move. Buoyed by the recovering economy and revitalised job market, those who stayed put during the downturn are now ready to look elsewhere – especially if they were treated poorly. There will be a scramble for top talent, and companies who aren’t prepared will miss out.”

Among the 35 countries surveyed, Australian employers report the sixth strongest first-quarter hiring plans, just behind India (+39%), Brazil (+31%), Singapore (+26%), Taiwan (+25%) and Costa Rica (+20%), and post one of the most notable quarter-over-quarter improvements in the Asia-Pacific region.

By comparison, employers in the United States (+6%) and parts of Europe, including the UK (+0%), France (+1%) are still anticipating only modest hiring improvements.

“The Australian employment outlook reflects the fact that we have fared much better in the downturn, being one of the few developed countries to avoid a recession,” said Mr Crawley.

“Hopefully, these figures indicate that Australia will be one of the first countries to enter a sustained recovery period.”

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