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Australia – Employment outlook brighter than expected

05 December 2013

The weak employment conditions experienced across Australia over the past year-and-a-half are set to end next year, according to the latest Business Expectations Survey from business information provider Dun and Bradstreet (D&B), reports hcamag.com.

This comes despite the International Monetary Fund’s forecast that Australia’s unemployment rate will rise from 5.7% to 6% during 2014.

In Q1 2014, 10% of the organisations surveyed by D&B intend to take on new staff, with 5% looking to reduce employment activity, indicating an overall increase in job expectations.

Danielle Woods, Director of Corporate Affairs at D&B, said: “These findings on employment intentions are a particular bright note among generally improving business sentiment. This turnaround, especially given the recent lift in the official jobless rate, provides hope that forecasts for unemployment beyond the 6% mark may be over-estimations, and that Australian businesses are in reasonable shape.”

While these findings may appear optimistic on the surface, jobseekers are unlikely to find solace in the idea that they might get a call back in March of next year. Tudor Marsden-Huggins, managing director of Employment Office, recommended that employers begin recruitment now in the lead up to Christmas.

Mr Marsden-Huggins stated that, with many organisations winding down their recruitment strategies, job advertisings hits a low in December, but job seekers are still on the hunt. “Recruiting in December takes advantage of the fact that many top performers have a certain amount of down-time in in the last weeks of the year, whether that’s through taking annual leave or due to a decreased pre-Christmas workload.”

The end of the year also causes many top performers to take a step back and evaluate their work/life situation, and start planning for the future. As such, some may be searching for their next step in life – for personal, monetary, or professional reasons.

“Whatever the candidate’s motivation, it’s clear that even though other areas of your business may be slowing down, December is definitely not a time to put your recruitment function on hold. If you run a fast, clean hiring process, you can be making job offers before your competitors have even published their job ads in January,” Mr Marsden-Huggins concluded.

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