Mining and construction jobs set for a rebound

Posted: 12th Jun

MINING and construction firms have reported cautiously optimistic hiring plans for the next three months, with some stability returning to the wider economy.

According to Manpower’s new employment outlook survey, mining and construction firms reported a net employment outlook of 9%.

This outlook was up four points on the previous quarter and 11 points higher than Q3 2013.

“Overall, the hiring outlook is positive, with some stability returning to the market. The unemployment rate also remained steady in April at 5.8%, with many economists suggesting the peak could have passed,” Manpower Australia New Zealand managing director Lincoln Crawley said.

The net employment figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating total employment to increase and subtracting it from the percentage expecting a decrease.

Overall, the net outlook for Australia came in at 9%, down slightly from 10% in the second quarter but up three points from the same time last year.

The survey looked at the hiring intentions of more than 1500 local employers and found 20% planned to increase their workforce, while 12% planned a decrease and 67% planned no changes.

Mining states Western Australia and Queensland both reported small declines, but saw positive results of 10% and 7% respectively.

The Northern Territory was the strongest state by far, rising to 17%, while budget cutbacks left the Australian Capital Territory the worst off at minus 6%.

Looking ahead Crawley said Canberra had introduced a number of new initiatives to boost employment.

“The Government has made some inroads with budget initiatives to encourage mature age workers back into the workforce, as well as the industry skills fund which focuses on delivering the skills that are needed by industry,” he said.

“However, post-budget, we need to increase focus on employment and implement workforce reforms that will lead to greater productivity and participation in the Australian market.”

While intentions in the mining and construction sectors were positive, the most upbeat outlook of 13% came from the services sector.

The biggest improvement from last year came from the mining and construction sector, which rose 11 percentage points on the same time last year.Taking stock of global conditions Australia ranked middle of the bunch, with India (46%), Taiwan (38%), Turkey (26%) and New Zealand (25%) being the strongest countries.

Peru was the most optimistic region in the Americas with an 18% outlook, ranking it sixth globally.

The results come on the back of another recent Manpower survey, which showed Australian employers continued to be plagued by skills shortages.

Manpower’s recent talent shortage survey showed engineers and tradespeople were the key workers in demand in Australia, with 41% of businesses reporting difficulty filling jobs, a 4% decrease on the same time last year.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 - Andrew Duffy -