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Recruitment company Clarius Group (CND: ASX) stated that the drawn out 2013 federal election campaign is holding back the Australian economy and damaging the employment sentiment among small and medium sized businesses.
“The beginning of the new financial year is traditionally a time when businesses review their budgets and ramp up their permanent staff numbers. However, this year compared to 2012, we have seen demand fall by about -10%,” said Paul Barbaro, executive general manager of Clarius Group.
The election campaign unofficially began in January. The Australian Constitution requires a minimum 33 day election campaign and the latest possible date for an election is the 30th November in any given year. An article in the Brisbane Times, identified two windows of opportunity for the elections; the end of August and the end of October, which would not conflict with official or state business.
Mr Barbaro stated that most of Clarius Group’s clients, operating in the corporate services, IT, accounting, banking & finance, construction, engineering, and manufacturing sectors were feeling vulnerable in terms of economic outlook.
“The timing of Federal elections has a negative impact on the hiring intentions of employers at the best of times, but the extended duration of this year’s unofficial campaign, and now the uncertainty of a poll date given the recent leadership change, has proven to be particularly damaging,” added Mr Barbaro.
In trading today, Clarius Group hit a 52-week dropping -2.6% to a low of 18.5 Australian cents. In the last three months, the stock has hit a new 52-week low sixteen times, pointing to a significant downward trend, according to an article by Australian Company News Bites -Stock Report.