The biggest emerging job opportunities in Australia are now in services

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The services sector is now the biggest opportunity for jobs in Australia.

The rest of Australian employers, including those in the finance industry, are still a bit cautious about hiring.

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, the majority (78%) of employers have no plans to hire in the second quarter of 2017. Only 15% of interviewed employers intend to increase their headcount.

The national Net Employment Outlook is +9%, unchanged since last quarter. However, this represents an annual net employment outlook growth of five percentage points.

The Net Employment Outlook is calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers anticipating a decrease in hiring activity from those anticipating an increase in employment.

The services sector is the strongest of all surveyed with a net employment outlook of +15%. The services quarterly outlook has jumped seven percentage points over the last 12 months.

Richard Fischer, managing director, ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand, says digital transformation is a key priority, driving a renewed focus on sourcing the right IT talent in a skills-short market.

“The majority of businesses are extremely concerned about whether their organisational workforce has the skills required to keep pace with the skills revolution taking place globally as well as the digital advancement currently dominating the Australian market,” he says.

He says this focus on digital is is born out by the strong showing in the services sector.

However, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector outlook dipped to its weakest level since 2009.

Mining and Construction reported its strongest hiring plans since the fourth quarter of 2012.

New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory report the strongest regional outlooks at +14%.

The survey results by sector:

Source: Manpower

Fischer says the overall moderate hiring pace is forecast to continue nationally.

“While the Australian labour market is relatively stable, businesses across the board are focused on two key hiring considerations — cost reduction and bolstering IT capabilities,” he says.

“A surprise lift in GDP figures coupled with the latest round of results reporting showing an uptick in company profits, along with a fall in unemployment from 5.8% to 5.7% may give cause for further optimism if these trends continue.”

He says the the property booms in New South Wales and Victoria have seemingly reached a tipping point.

“With house prices at an untenable level for many, and a decrease in building approvals year-on-year, it is likely that job seekers in these two states in particular will start to feel the effects of a tightening market towards the end of 2017,” he says.

“The impact may already be noticeable in Victoria, which saw the biggest decrease in hiring intentions of all the states, dropping three percentage points since Q1 2017 and two percentage points year-over-year.”

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