The looming new year looks likely to see a downturn in unemployment, as hiring expectations in Australia finish off FY2017 at a six-year high, according to new figures.
That is the view of the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, which surveyed around 1,500 Australian employers as part of a study spanning 59,000 employers in 43 countries.
“The employment outlook in Australia is now the strongest reported in more than six years and is showing no signs of slowing down as a rebound in the Mining and Construction sector adds to an already strong outlook in other key sectors such as Finance”, said Richard Fischer, managing director of ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand.
He added that compared with other countries, Australia has the strongest year-on-year gain in hiring intentions in the Asia-Pacific region, and the third-strongest across all 43 countries surveyed.
While this is good news for the economy as a whole, Mr Fischer cautioned that it will likely have cost implications for employers.
“With a low unemployment rate and a strong outlook, the labour market is rapidly approaching the point at which the war for talent will see wages pressure return to the economy,” he said.
“Employers will need to reset their focus in the New Year if they want to attract and retain the very best employees.”
According to the survey, every state and territory recorded positive outlook for jobs growth in the first quarter of 2018, led by a massive 23 per cent surge in the mining and construction sector.
By contrast, wholesale and retail trade showed the lowest forecast increase in staff, with hiring intentions mirroring the same quarter of this year.