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Just one in five businesses are planning to hire new staff, the lowest level for hiring intentions since the global financial crisis, according to recruitment firm Hudson. A recent survey conducted by Hudson, of more than 2,500 employers in July and August, found that 20.9% are planning to take on new staff during the December quarter.
Low staff turnover levels mean businesses have less opportunity to recruit, Hudson executive general manager for regional Australia Dean Davidson said. "That can become a challenge for some organisations," he told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
The proportion of employers planning to hire was the lowest level since the September quarter of 2009. However, information technology is booming, as more firms digitise their businesses. In comparison, 36% of IT employers said they were planning to hire, compared with just 13.6% for the utilities industry.
Mr Davidson added: "A lot of organisations are transitioning down the digital path so that's creating project work. I definitely do not see that changing in the foreseeable future."
South Australian employers had the strongest hiring intentions, with 24.2% planning to recruit. Hiring intentions in the Australian Capital Territory were down to 22.2%, as the territory government tightens recruitment.
Victoria had the weakest jobs market, with just 16.2% of bosses planning to take on new staff. In Queensland, 18.2% of employers were planning to hire, the same proportion as those looking to downsize, following the end of the mining boom and public sector job cuts.
Hudson chief executive Mark Steyn said businesses had been cautious in the lead up to the federal election, but recruitment activity was likely to improve in the coming year amid low interest rates and a falling Australian dollar.