Written on the 9 March 2012


QUEENSLANDERS are increasingly confident about their chances of landing a new job, but still want to preserve their regular work.

The latest labour mobility index from recruitment group Randstad shows the national job market reversed its downward trend, rising two basis points to 102 in the March quarter compared to the previous period. It follows a sharp benchmark decline of 11 points in the previous three quarters.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Queensland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped from 5.4 to 5.7 per cent.

Despite the minor February rise in unemployment, Randstad CEO Fred van der Tang describes the national 5.2 per cent jobless rate as comparatively low.

“(It) means the labour market is actually very tight,” he says in a written statement.

“To put it in perspective, the current unemployment rate in the UK right now is above 8 per cent, in the US it’s about the same and our neighbours in New Zealand have an unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent.”

He welcomes stabilising jobseeker confidence after an extended decline as good news for employers wanting to attract new talent in the next 12 months.

“It’s encouraging to see the downward slide has stabilised. It suggests there might be more confidence in the economy than some other economic data is indicating,” he says.

However, most workers exercise caution and prefer to remain in their current roles instead of exploring new career options. The index is still nine points lower than the previous corresponding period in 2011, when it peaked at 111 points.

“Mobility took a real hit last year, with uncertain overseas economic conditions sending shockwaves domestically. Understandably workers opted to bunker down in their current roles, rather than taking a chance on a new job,” says van der Tang.

There is still uncertainty looming over domestic and global economic conditions.

“Recent retrenchments in the finance and travel industries are also likely to have cast a shadow over the current labour market,” says van der Tang.

“While it will take time to rebuild the confidence and mobility levels to the heights they hit 12 months ago, we expect strong skills demand in Australia’s powerhouse industries like resources, agriculture, banking and IT to generate greater mobility as 2012 unfolds.”






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