11/12/2012 - 13:06

Employer sentiment softens

11/12/2012 - 13:06

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Western Australian employers have downgraded expectations for increasing staff numbers in the first quarter of 2013.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook 20 per cent of employers in the state are planning to take on employees and nine per cent are expecting to lay off staff.

The figures have resulted in an overall employment outlook of +15 per cent – four percentage points lower than the outlook for the past quarter.

Managing director of the Manpower Group Australia and New Zealand Lincoln Crawley said the softening was likely due to perceptions of a slowdown in the mining and construction sector.

Despite that, the jobs market was still stronger in WA than Australia as a whole; the national average outlook was +8 per cent.

“Despite falling commodity prices and increased taxes causing some negative reports from the sector, the pipeline of resources projects in WA continues to be strong with reports of up to $200 billion in new and expanding projects underway or planned for the region,” Mr Crawley said.

‘There also continues to be a flow-on effect from the resources sector to the WA employment market, driving demand for skilled candidates who will service projects, and for all of the contractors needed for construction on mines which will propel employment in the region.”

Bucking the downward trend was the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate jobs market, which posted an overall outlook of +19 per cent job growth – eight percentage points higher than the last quarter.

Mr Crawley said this was surprising and showed employers were responding quickly to market changes.

“For example risk and compliance roles are growing as the industry struggles with changes to legislation around super and financial advice.”

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