'Steady hiring climate' expected locally in 2018

Gladys Abbott
December 14, 2017

"With seasonal variations removed from the data, Brockville's first quarter net employment outlook of 11 per cent is a two percentage point increase when compared to the previous quarterly outlook", said Macinnis. "It is also a decrease of six percentage points compared with the Outlook reported during the same time past year, however this still indicates a respectable hiring pace for the upcoming months". While forecasts in all regions and sectors are in positive territory, employer hiring intentions in the Wholesale & Retail Trade and Transportation & Utilities sectors have declined noticeably in both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year comparisons.

She added outlooks in the finance, insurance and real estate, manufacturing, and the transportation and public utilities sectors are the strongest reported in seven years or more. Perspectives in this sector improved by 4 percentage points on the quarter and by 8 percentage points on the year, the study showed.

However, not all sectors are faring so well.

The looming new year looks likely to see a downturn in unemployment, as hiring expectations in Australia finish off FY2017 at a six-year high, according to new figures.

The least optimistic are employers in the southwestern region, with a +6% NEO, up 2 percentage points on the quarter and by 9 percentage points on the year.

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A survey says more Greater Victoria employers plan to hire staff in the first quarter of 2018, rather than cutting back.

"However, key sectors are lagging behind".

In terms of company size, the large enterprises with 250 or more employees were the most optimistic about hiring at 35 percent, followed by medium-sized companies (50-249 employees) at 23 percent, and small businesses (10 -49 employees) at 13 percent. "This positions Australia well for a strong start to 2018".

"With a low unemployment rate and a strong outlook, the labour market is rapidly approaching the point at which the war for talent will see wages pressure return to the economy". Elsewhere, Outlooks of +14% are reported in both Christchurch and Wellington. However, Christchurch employers have experienced a year-over-year improvement of three percentage points, while the Wellington Outlook remains relatively stable. Greece has recorded the strongest gain, up five percentage points since Q1 2017.

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