Written on the 28 September 2010


EMPLOYMENT levels in Queensland improved in August while national full-time work has also received a boost, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Both Queensland and national unemployment figures declined by 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.

The statistics show that national part-time employment fell by 22,100 people and full-time employment rose by 53,100.

Ian Basser, the CEO of recruiter Chandler McLeod, says the increase of 14.8 million monthly aggregate hours in Australia shows employers are moving past the ‘try before you buy’ philosophy and are showing more confidence in talent.

“From an underemployment perspective you can see that the hours worked have increased and we’re certainly seeing that in our business managing the workforces of clients, not just in mining and energy but in other sectors as well,” he says.

“Queensland from our perspective is steadily improving and certainly in the mining and energy areas they continue to tick along very nicely, in white collar and blue collar areas. They’re not going ballistic but they’re not going backwards and they’re gaining traction.

“They’re moving from the try before you buy towards actual hiring, as companies feel more comfortable to increase their fixed costs of permanent positions from the variable cost of contract jobs.”

Basser says the financial services sector has momentum, along with IT, engineering and sales positions, but employment in the construction industry and skills shortages for booming sectors are both concerns.

“It’s likely some skills are transferrable, for instance a welder on a construction site could go for a welding job on the Gorgon project, but the resources industry is looking for skilled people as opposed to unskilled labourers,” he says.

“There’s still a large number of people looking for work and there’s always the issue of underemployment in this country – it’s about training and assessing whether people are in the right training programs, because some people move out of long term unemployment to a low level job, and feel that people don’t know what makes them tick.”






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