Hiring intentions improve in 2014

Firms may be increasing their use of recruitment software in the new year, as latest figures show a rise in hiring intentions for the start of 2014.

The Dun & Bradstreet Employment Index has reached an 18-month high, suggesting that confidence is returning to certain industries.

A total of 10 per cent of the businesses surveyed said they plan to take on new staff during the first three months of 2014 – during the previous quarter, this figure stood at just 4 per cent.

As a result, the index now has a reading of 5.1 points, the highest level seen since the June quarter of 2012 and the first figure registered above zero in six months.

Danielle Woods, director of corporate affairs at Dun & Bradstreet, noted that the year is ending on a "particularly bright note", especially as business sentiment is apparently on the rise.

"This turnaround, especially given the recent lift in the official jobless rate, provides hope that forecasts for unemployment beyond the six per cent mark may be over-estimations, and that Australian businesses are in reasonable shape," she commented.

Ms Woods also pointed to the link between employment activity and the strength of the overall economy, saying the corporate sector is now more willing to invest, which could bring far reaching benefits.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently revealed that the unemployment rate stood at 5.8 per cent in November, marking an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared to the previous month.

There was, however, a rise in the number of males taking up full-time employment and females managing to secure part-time roles.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate remained steady at 64.8 per cent in November, as total labour force underutilisation stood at 13.4 per cent.


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