Home' Employment Forecast : October 2009 Contents 23
The Age Employment Forecast
The MyCareer employment report proved a very reliable tracker of the employment market, even in these very challenging times.
The forecast accuracy remains very high as has been the case since this report started in 2003.
Although the last six to nine months have been diffcult, with a very static job market, it could have been much worse had the
Government and the various Reserve Banks not acted. In addition, Australia has a much more fexible workforce than it did in 1991.
Now, employers can reduce hours worked by offering part-time roles, and even temporary wage reductions, something that was
also most unheard of in 1991. Australia has emerged from this in relatively spectacular fashion compared with other developed
Nations. There have been some losers though; Generation Y has borne the brunt of job reductions, there has also been some
business failures and the recruitment industry has found the environment diffcult as staff freezes became the norm.
But there are now strong signs the worst is behind us, with improved consumer and business confdence. Our models are showing
weak jobs growth will return across all the States reviewed and across the Professional/Managers’ category both nationally and
in Victoria. Looking at the market by sector, some weak growth is forecast in just about all sectors. Only Manufacturing stands out
as the sector that will continue to lose jobs. This sector has been losing share of jobs for years and little change is expected in the
In Victoria, there are some positive signs. Housing prices have started to rise again after the slump in late 2008. Victoria’s
population growth is increasing and retail sales growing at 5.7% (YTD July 09). Although the outlook for the private commercial
building sector is weak, with the value of approvals down 42.2% (YTD July 09), the decline is showing signs of stabilising. A number
of major developments are also underway or planned that will provide support for the Victorian economy. Business confdence has
improved signifcantly over the last six months. This, combined with stable economic conditions means that jobs are forecast to be
growing by 0.2% in early next year, however, this is still below the 2007/08 rates of growth.
There are already signs that the Professionals/Managers’ segment is returning to life with quarterly jobs gathering pace again,
although the growth rate is very low by recent historical standards. There are early indications that hiring in the fnancial sectors in
research, equity sales and investment banking are picking up again. This sector is forecast to continue to recover over the next six
to nine months, with quarterly jobs to grow by +0.7% by the May 10 quarter.
A light has appeared at the end of the tunnel and jobs are expected to start growing again soon
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