Recruiters are capitalising on the rise and rise again of jobs. If the number of assignments retained by our firm and new vacancies are anything to go by, there is a strong case to support a resurgence of Australian jobs growth in the Executive market.
Despite closures of household names in the manufacturing sector – Ford, Toyota, Holden and SPC (until the Federal government stepped in), as well as job losses within Qantas, we are now seeing an improving trend since job ads recorded a three year low in December 2013. Most ‘top down’ leading indicators are positive, reinforced by this month’s NAB Survey, ANZ Job Index, ABS job vacancies and ACCI Westpac Survey.
Job advertisements – a great forward indicator – show growing business confidence, with hiring managers looking to expand their workforces. UBS reports in its Australian Economic Comment, 10 April 2014 that there was a jobs lift of 48,000 month on month in February and a further 18,000 month on month in March. This has improved markedly from the flat trend seen for most of last year. In addition to rising job vacancies, March unemployment dropped from 6.1% to 5.8%.
Dun and Bradstreet’s latest Business Expectations Survey shows capital investment and employment intentions have rebounded from negative territory in the previous quarter to sit above their 10 year averages. D&B’s economics adviser Stephen Koukoulas observes, “Expectations for employment are particularly encouraging and should allay some people’s concerns about job security.” “While we’re still not quite at the very strong levels for employment and hiring intentions just yet, it’s clearly lifted over the last 9-12 months or so,” he said.
So, after reviewing the array of economic surveys conducted across Australian businesses, the resounding feeling is that 2014 will be a year for positive growth. Australian employers are also reporting encouraging signs for jobseekers in the first quarter of 2014, with 20% expecting to increase staffing levels; the expectation is we will see sales, profits, investment and employment increasing to their highest level in twelve months.
At international level, executives appear optimistic. More than half of all respondents in a recent McKinsey global survey, Economic Conditions Snapshot, March 2014, indicated that conditions in the world economy have improved in the past six months, and will be even better in six months time.
So expect to see a spring in the step of candidates and hiring managers as we eagerly await more positive sentiment and renewed vigour in key economic indicators.
What’s your point of view?