Australian Employers Hesitate As Their Hiring Plans Soften; But The Sky Is Not Falling According To

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9th September 2008, 02:02am - Views: 477

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Media Release

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

Under embargo until 0:01, 9th September 2008

Australian employers hesitate as their hiring plans soften, but the sky is

not falling according to Manpower’s hiring survey.


We can expect a slower fourth-quarter national hiring pace, as a sign that the labour market

is softening as business confidence drops, it was revealed today in the Manpower

Employment Outlook Survey of hiring trends.

The survey of 2,405 employers across Australia reveals that employers intend to add fewer

staff to their workforces as we head into the end of 2008, and compared to last quarter of


The demands of Australia’s employment market appears to be continuing to moderate in

the October – December quarter of 2008, with a Net Employment Outlook of +18% compared

to +20% in the previous quarter. This forecast shows that just 18 percent of companies will

have jobs on offer compared to the 29 percent for the same period in 2007. 

According to Scott McLachlan, Managing Director of Manpower Australia and New Zealand,

“This coming quarter’s declining forecast is the weakest reported by employers since Quarter 3,

2006, and while it shows an ongoing moderation in demand, this is coming from a very high

base that has existed over the past two years. 

This ongoing moderation in demand for staff will see a slow down in the rate of jobs growth, so

while employment growth will continue to slow, there will not be the collapse that many

anticipate, and is not likely to fall below 2 percent year on year growth in 2008” said McLachlan.

From the recent survey data, there is a general decrease in hiring intention, with employers in

QLD, VIC and NSW more hesitant to take on more staff over the next three months and

notably in NSW, employer hiring plans are at a four-year low. While the smaller States of NT

and SA reveal the most favourable fourth-quarter hiring plans (+30% and +26% respectively).

Across all seven industry sectors, employers expect to pull back on hiring from the third quarter,

with the least optimistic outlook being reported by employers in the Wholesale & Retail industry

sector at +13%. While in the Mining & Construction industry, they are still experiencing a high

demand for workers at +24%.

“Australia’s recent economic downturn is weighing on the minds of business leaders and

employers. They are not conducting widespread layoffs across all industry sectors, which is

encouraging, yet we are not seeing much appetite to add staff either. In the coming months, we

will continue to see employers making do with the people they have, finding ways to contain

costs and being very cautious about hiring decisions.

Despite the coming quarter’s decline, the Net Employment Outlook remains stable but cautious

and we should see continuing net job gains of around 25,000 over the October to December

period.” said McLachlan.


For further information please contact:

Stephen Hinch, General Manager, Marketing & Communications

Phone – 02 9263 8644, Mobile – 0488 495 270, E   

Marissa Loe, PR & Events Manager, Phone – 02 9263 8566, E:  

Download a copy of the Australian Manpower Employment Outlook Survey at

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- Continued -

Manpower Fact Sheet

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 9th of December

2008 to report hiring expectations for the first quarter of 2009.  The Manpower Employment

Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower

representative in participating countries. You can download a copy of the Australian report in

Note to Editors

Full survey results for each of the 33 countries and territories included in this quarter’s

survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found in the Manpower Press Room at  In addition, all tables and graphs from the full report are

available to be downloaded for use in publication or broadcast from the Manpower Web site

Note that in Quarter 2 of 2008, the survey adopted the TRAMO-SEATS model for seasonal

adjustment of data.  As a result, you may notice some seasonally adjusted data points

change slightly from previous reports. This model is recommended by the Eurostat

department of the European Union and the European Central Bank and is widely used


About the Survey

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’

intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next

quarter.  It is the most extensive forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in its size,

scope, longevity and area of focus.  The Survey has been running for more than 45 years

and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world.  The Manpower

Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with nearly 55,000 public and private

employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator. 

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 33 countries and

territories:  Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica,

Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy,

Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore,

Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United

States.  The program began in the United States and Canada in 1962, and the United

Kingdom was added in 1966.  Mexico and Ireland launched the survey in 2002, and 13

additional countries were added to the program in 2003.  New Zealand joined the program in

2004, China, India, Switzerland and Taiwan were added in 2005, and Argentina, Peru, Costa

Rica and South Africa joined in 2006.  Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala,

Poland and Romania joined in 2008.  For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site

at and enter the Research Center, or contact Bruce Bock, Sr. Global

Communications Manager at

About Manpower Inc.

Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating

and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2008, the $21 billion company offers employers a range of

services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and

contract recruitment; employee assessment and selection; training; outplacement;

outsourcing and consulting.  Manpower's worldwide network of 4,500 offices in 80 countries

and territories enables the company to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year,

including small and medium size enterprises in all industry sectors, as well as the world's

largest multinational corporations. The focus of Manpower's work is on raising productivity

through improved quality, efficiency and cost-reduction across their total workforce, enabling

clients to concentrate on their core business activities. Manpower Inc. operates under five

brands:  Manpower, Manpower Professional, Elan, Jefferson Wells and Right Management. 

More information on Manpower Inc. is available at

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