Transport hiring expectations being squeezed

Recruitment firm Hudson’s Australia Hiring Expectations report sees less bullish trend to workforce numbers

September 25, 2013

Any employment
confidence the transport sector had in the first half of the calendar year has retreated and even the Federal election has failed to lift spirits, an employment survey indicates.

Recruitment firm Hudson’s Australia Hiring Expectations report on employers’ outlooks for the fourth calendar quarter shows hiring intentions across the board have hit the lowest level since the third quarter of 2009.

"While there is downward pressure on hiring expectations, it’s not as pronounced as it was entering into the GFC where the rate of employers decreasing headcount was much higher," Hudson Asia Pacific CEO Mark Steyn says of the national trend.

"We’re seeing liquidity in the market – many employers are reshaping their teams, but are not increasing their overall headcount."

For the transport sector, something of a squeeze is on.

Those expecting a decrease in hiring for the following quarter fell from 18.3 per cent in the first quarter to 15.7 per cent in the second quarter but soared to 22.8 per cent in the third.

This was met by a similar performance for those with increasing hiring expectations, with that side rising in the first quarter from 26.1 per cent to 27.8 per cent before plunging to 21.1 per cent.

But there seems to be a conservative urge also at work, as companies wait for better times.

Transport sector players expecting to remain "steady" were steady themselves at 55.7 per cent, 56.5 per cent and 56.1 per cent respectively.

The release of the Hudson report coincided with the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator, which may contain clues to the hiring trend, given that demand for goods and therefor for shifting them,
is patchy.

This report shows that economy-wide spending has "slowed to a crawl", growing at the slowest pace in 10 months.

"In trend terms, the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI), lifted by just 0.2 per cent in July, the slowest pace since September 2012," the bank's researchers say.

"The more volatile seasonally adjusted estimate of spending fell by 2.0 per cent in July after falling by 2.1 per cent in June and expanding by 5.4 per cent gain in May."

But on the plus side, annual growth remains firm at 6.9 per cent, up from 4.4 per cent in June and economy-wide spending expanded for the 11th straight month in July.

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