Today’s Westpac consumer sentiment report showed the highest level of concern among Australians about employment prospects since the GFC.
With the passing of the peak of mining investment and some high-profile industrial closures, and unemployment ticking up to 6% last month, there’s clear unease amongst Australians about their future prospects.
Most economists expect, however, that the transition in the economy accompanied by record-low interest rates and a falling dollar will lead to growth in the construction sector as well as better prospects for non-mining export industries.
Some of that is reflected in the latest Manpower Employment Outlook survey which measures the hiring intentions of over 1500 employers across Australia for the upcoming quarter, the pace of hiring is expected to tick up slightly.
The data shows a quarter of mining and construction companies plan to ramp up hiring efforts in Q2, boosting net employment outlook by three percentage points quarter-on-quarter to +5%.
Of those surveyed 14% plan to decrease hiring and 61% plan to make no changes to their current payrolls.
Lincoln Crawley, ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand Managing Director said the mining sector was transitioning out of an investment-heavy phase as more projects came online.
“In resources, the landscape is changing as the sector adjusts to ‘life after the boom’,” he said.
“The market is undergoing a correction in terms of hiring demand and cost pressures.”
Nationally the results show that 22 per cent of employers plan to increase hiring, 11 per cent plan to decrease recruitment and 65 per cent plan to make no changes to current payrolls.
The result is a net employment outlook of +10 per cent.
Unsurprisingly the manufacturing sector recorded a 7% net employment outlook drop quarter-on-quarter to post -2%.