Australians happier with their job, but concerned with the economy

Employment News

Australians are happier in their jobs, but are concerned with the state of the economy in 2012, according to new research.’s Hidden Hunters Report, now in its fifth year, identifies trends in job hunting behaviour across industries and key demographics.

The research revealed:

– Job satisfaction has increased across every aspect measured, returning to 2010 levels of 54 per cent with 310,000 Australians happier in their roles than 12 months ago.

– The number of Australians saying they are ‘very concerned’ about the economy sharply increased, nearly doubling from 11 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 2012

– The state of the economy is impacting all states, but the worst affected are Queensland and South Australia with 23 per cent ‘very concerned’ about the economy.

– South Australia and Western Australia have seen an increase in the number of workers finding it very difficult on their current income. Over the last year, there has been an easing of financial pressure in Queensland and Victoria, with a small increase in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory.

– Australians living in Labor held electorates who are ‘very concerned’ about the economy doubled from 8 per cent in 2011 to 16 per cent in 2012. 13 per cent of people in those electorates are finding it ‘very difficult’ on their current income, up 4 per cent from 9 per cent in 2011.

– Australians living in Coalition held electorates who are ‘very concerned’ about the economy also jumped from 13 per cent 2011 to 22 per cent in 2012. 13 per cent of those people are finding it ‘very difficult’ on their current income, down 2 per cent from 15 per cent in 2011.

– Economic uncertainty and increasing job satisfaction has led to declining numbers of people actively searching for a new role with 30 per cent of workers actively looking or scanning for new job opportunities in 2012 down from 37 per cent in 2011.

– 79 per cent of the Australian workforce are open to new opportunities in 2012, down from 82 per cent in 2011.

– Queensland workers have seen the greatest decline in job hunting activity at 31 per cent, down from 47 per cent in 2011. Western Australia is the most active at 35 per cent. South Australian job hunting has increased by 7 per cent on 2011 to 28 per cent. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and Victoria are both down in job hunting activity and reflective of the national average.

– 40 per cent of women are experiencing financial stress and 1-in-3 Australian women are actively looking or scanning for new opportunities. Women put more emphasis on distance to work, training and the team whereas men place notable more weight on remuneration and the business.

– The top push factors forcing workers to leave their current roles are: the desire for a better career path, something new and improved working conditions.

– The top pull factors attracting workers to new roles are: distance travelled to work, the team they work with and remuneration.

– Top five job hunting tools in 2012 are: general jobs websites (61 per cent), newspapers (59 per cent), specialist jobs websites (55 per cent), employment agency (41 per cent) and talking with contacts (34 per cent).

– Mobile phone usage in the job hunting process has risen 9 per cent since 2008, with 14% of job seekers using mobile devices to browse for jobs or receive job related information.

– The use of social networking tools to find a new job has risen 7 per cent since 2008. The increase was driven by NSW and VIC workers in particular and the biggest lift being reported in the 35-54 year old age bracket

Heightened concerns about the state of the economy are translating differently depending on the industry sector. Industries like Hospitality and Tourism; Logistics, Supply and Transport; Agriculture and Manufacturing; Property and Construction; and Retail and Sales are the worst affected by the state of the economy. Industries such as Mining and Resources; Health; and Charity and Social Work are not affected by economic worries. Chief Executive, Michael Harvey said, “Job satisfaction has returned to 2010 levels with increasing levels of satisfaction across every aspect measured. Workers are most satisfied with the team, the work itself, hours worked and flexibility with all experiencing significant increases over the past 12 months.

“A key issue for Australian workers continues to be recognition with one third of workers claiming a lack of recognition over the past year and a need for a clear career path.

“The report shows a significant jump in concern held about the economy. Interestingly, this is not driven by their personal financial circumstances with no change in those finding it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ from 2011 to 2012. Clearly, more macro concerns about the Australian economy and international events are worrying many job seekers this year.”

“The economic uncertainty and the increase in job satisfaction has led to a decline in the number of people actively searching for a new role in 2012. The number of people are taking a more passive approach to job hunting has also risen to 49 per cent this year compared to 45 per cent in 2011.”

“This highlights the need for companies to be smarter in their recruitment and engage passive job hunters through new interactive media tools as well as traditional forms of media.”

“General jobs websites are still the number one way employees look for their next job, followed by newspapers, specialist job websites and recruitment agencies. The report confirms social media is increasingly part of the job hunt and more Australians are looking while on the go through their mobile phones, both in metropolitan and regional areas,” Harvey said.

The Hidden Hunters Report, commissioned by, is carried out by independent experts Acid Test amongst a sample group of 1,500 currently employed or looking adults chosen as representative of Australian Bureau of Statistics population demographics.

To view the report in full and specific industry findings, visit:

**’s Michael Harvey & Dawn Tingwell are available for interviews**

Radio grabs are also available for download via Media Game

To arrange interviews or to get more information, please contact:

Kate McQuestin – on 0419 591 150 or

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