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Employer confidence strong for resources sector

PM News
June 30, 2011

An employment report issued by Hudson shows that employer confidence supports positive employment expectations across all industries, but particularly in the resources, engineering and construction sector.

The Hudson Employment Expectations report revealed that 30.8% of survey participants expected to hire staff in the quarter and almost 54% would maintain current staff levels.

“Results show that all industries have positive employment expectations for the next quarter as they look to strengthen their workforce and position themselves for future growth, said Mark Steyn, CEO of Hudson Australia/New Zealand. “However, there are marked differences across industries, with employers in resources and construction well placed to battle for the best talent while those in trade-based industries are challenged to manage costs.”

He said the job market is buoyant in certain sectors, favouring talented employees. “Employers face increased competition for the most talented candidates, forcing some companies to raise salaries and offer more appealing contract opportunities in order to attract and retain the most skilled employees,” Steyn added.

Western Australia was the state with the strongest rising sentiment with 50% of employers looking to hire permanent staff in the next quarter. “Western Australia has the highest level of employer confidence nationally, boosted by the growing demand for qualified employees within the resources industry,” said Steyn.

He said Queensland also showed positive sentiment for the same reason. “Demand for Queensland’s natural resources ensured that labour requirements within the mining industry remained mostly unaffected and production levels were quickly restored following the cyclone and floods.”

Overall, the resources industry showed the most confidence with close to three in five employers looking increase permanent positions.

“The resources industry is set to spend $83.3 billion over the next financial year on new infrastructure and equipment, putting increasing pressure on an already skill-short sector,” said Steyn. He added that the Federal Government’s regional migration initiatives will look to tackle this shortage, and that many employers’ response has been to search overseas.

Employment in the construction and engineering sector, including project management, has also benefited from the demand for resources. The report states that demand for resource-associated engineering and infrastructure has contributed to net 43.5% of employers expecting to increase permanent employee numbers over the next quarter.

One aspect to watch is the outsourcing of projects, the report mentioned, with more than 50% of employers expect to increase employee numbers “as the trend for organisations to outsource projects and functions, rather than employ permanent members of staff, continues”.

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