Job growth patchy but hiring intentions strong

Employment climate

By Kate Southam

May’s extended holiday period is believed to be behind a drop in job advertisements of 6.5 per cent.

ANZ’s monthly survey showed nnewspaper job ads fell 2.7 per cent in May and internet jobs by 6.6 per cent. Job ads have fallen three months in a row for the first time since mid-2009 although figures are still 8.3 per cent higher than a year ago.

On the flip side, recruiters report strong hiring intentions amongst employer-clients and believe it is just a matter of time before skills shortages hit the headlines in many sectors.

Chandler Macleod, Hays and Michael Page and all surveyed clients to find an increase in hiring is on the drawing board.

The Michael Page Employment Index reveals hiring intentions are up by 43 per cent amongst white collar employers. Hays recruitment has also flags better times ahead with 45 per cent of its client base reporting plans to hire in the next year.

Peter Gleeson, executive general manager of Chandler Macleod told CareerOne that the amalgamation of May’s Easter and Anzac holidays had impacted on job numbers and he expected better figures to come.   

ANZ economist Ivan Cohoun agreed when speaking to the ABC about the latest figures.

“I think when we look really into the data, we can see some weakness in the first few weeks of May that didn’t persist into the latter two weeks, but it was still big enough in those first two weeks that it really depressed the numbers for May overall,” he told the ABC.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan told The Australian that the national economy was in transition “from a post-financial crisis, stimulus-driven world to an investment-boom economy" and that job creation associated with a strong commodities sector was only now getting underway.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its official unemployment figures later this week and economists expect a low rate of 4.9 per cent – unchanged from April.  

In the US, the unemployment rate is back up to 9.1 per cent. Only 54,000 jobs were created in May, far fewer than analysts were hoping for and it’s a sign that the US economy is still in trouble.

Article from CareerOne, June 7, 2011.

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