Economic forecast for 2012 favours contractors

By: Oncore Services  05-Apr-2012

The current economic climate, marred with uncertainty and volatility, is having a positive impact on the contracting market as businesses are recognising the risk associated with hiring permanent staff.

The latest Employment Expectations Report from Hudson's show Australia's employers remain positive about the economy over the next three months, with more than half planning on maintaining staffing numbers of the coming quarter. The report is based on a survey of more than 4000 employers across Australia in December.

The number of employers planning to decrease permanent staff in the first quarter of 2012 remained unchanged over the quarter at 10.1%.

“Despite the current international uncertainty, and changing conditions at home, employment expectations in Australia on the whole remain positive, particularly in the resources, transport and construction and engineering sectors.  NSW has bucked the state wide trend, with a positive uplift in expectations, driven mostly by the transport and manufacturing sectors," says Hudson Asia Pacific CFO Mark Leigh.

“Furthermore, we expect high demand in certain roles, such as engineering, geology, HSE and operational roles as well as for customer facing IT specialists.

“Now more than ever, in a turbulent economic climate, the cost of a bad hire is crippling. It is essential that employers have a robust process in place to rigorously assess and secure the best people for their businesses.”

This environment is having a positive spin-off for contracting sectors such as mining, IT and finance.

In fact, the mining boom state of Western Australia continues to lead the nation's economic growth and is set to maintain its course for most of this year. WA's economic output is now 28 per cent higher than its 10-year average, the latest quarterly State of the States report compiled by CommSec shows.

"Western Australia has consolidated its position as the nation's strongest economy," says CommSec chief economist Craig James.

The state is also leading its eastern state counterparts in terms of construction activity, business equipment spending, while its 4.3 per cent jobless rate is the lowest next to the ACT on 3.8 per cent.

But Queensland is on its way to catching up, underpinned by a strengthening resources sector and building reconstruction, according to CommSec.

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