The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey has indicated that prospects for job seekers in the Mining & Construction sector may well be softer than they have been for the past two years as hiring managers place their decision to hire new staff on hold.
The survey, which was part of a broader survey of 2,658 employers across Australia, revealed that the majority of employers in this sector are intending to hold the line on their staff levels for the next quarter. The levels of demand are considerably lower than the past 24 months, and in fact have dropped back to the same lower levels reported at the end of 2006.
The Mining & Construction sector’s employment market shows a noticeable softening in hiring intentions in the July — September quarter of 2008, with a Net Employment Outlook of +29% a decrease of 15% from the previous quarter (+44%).
According to Manpower Australia and New Zealand’s general manager marketing and communications Stephen Hinch, the softening in hiring new staff may not be a signal for a slowdown in net growth.
“It may well be indicating a decline in pent up demand that was created by internal mobility together with supply shortages,” he said.
“This softer demand may also be an early indicator of the disaggregation of the labour markets as some industries continue to grow from strength to strength while others such as finance and wholesale & retail trade begins to tighten and perhaps shrink as consumer confidence tightens. Business leaders must continue to rethink their strategies not only to attract staff but more importantly to retain the right talent, as the staff that you lose today may well need replacing tomorrow.
“There has been a general even spread of growth across all industries over the past few years only constrained by labour supply, but as the economy tends to shift we may well see a disaggregation where some industries such as wholesale & retail contract while other industries continue to grow. The net result of this disaggregation could see as many as 150,000 people losing their jobs over the next 12 to 18 months, but only a slight upswing in unemployment as those with transferable skills can move to the growth sectors,” Hinch said.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter.
The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 9th of September 2008 to report hiring expectations for the third quarter of 2008. The full survey can be downloaded from www.manpower.com.au/meos.
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