Nearly 70 Percent of Australian Employers Look to Hire More as Wages Increase

Australia’s hiring outlooks are improving as over two-thirds of employers intend to recruit more workers over the June 2023 quarter.  The Quarterly Australian Work Outlook Report, published by the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) on May 16, surveyed 60,600 HR and business leaders in Australia. The report showed that 69 percent of organisations are planning to hire compared to six percent of employers who are planning redundancies.  Notably, nearly half (46 percent) of businesses prefer to recruit casual workers mainly to manage short-term fluctuations in demand. Other reasons include providing flexibility for the individual, managing changes in business conditions and employee preference.   Sarrah McCann-Bartlett, CEO of AHRI, said, “Everybody is looking for flexibility of some sort.”  “Now we know that a high proportion of jobs in Australia can’t be done from home. There’s a lot of discussion about working from home, but only office workers can work from home,” she told Melbourne’s 3AW Radio on May 16.  “Most of our employees around Australia are frontline workers who actually have to be in the workplace.”  “But flexibility used to be a benefit. And it used to be something that was discretionary. That’s moved over to the must-have bucket, so everybody is expecting some kind of flexibility, whether it’s working from home, whether it’s flexible working hours, whether it’s compressed working weeks, everybody’s looking for some sort of flexibility.” Recruitment Intentions High Interestingly, only eight percent of small businesses intend to make redundancies. This means that some of the high-profile restructuring activity in corporations does not reflect the state of the whole economy.  Recruitment intentions are higher in the public sector (82 percent) than in the private (67 percent) and non-profit sectors (76 percent) On the flip side, nearly half (47 percent) of employers are experiencing recruitment difficulties. The most common reasons are lack of availability of suitable candidates (75 percent), high salary expectations (45 percent), and too much competition from rival organisations (34 percent)   Wage growth is also picking up, with the mean basic pay rise predicted to be 3.3 percent in the 12 months to April 2023. But this trend is more prominent in the public sector (4.4 percent) than the private (3.2 percent) and non-profit (2.2 percent) sectors.   The report noted that this trend is partly driven by some state government’s decisions to lift wage caps. Among them was the New South Wales government, which gave all public sector workers a three percent pay rise in 2022-23 and then 2.5 percent for each of the next two years.  Last week’s budget also shows the Albanese government committing an $11.3 billion budget to fund a 15 percent pay rise for aged care workers. Wages Going Up Around Australia Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the Wage Price Index increased by 0.8 percent in the March quarter. “It’s really pleasing to see that wages are moving,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on May 17. “We need to keep in mind that these are aggregate numbers, and we know they might not impact everyone, but this is another step in the right direction.” “We also understand that many households are still doing it tough from cost-of-living-pressures and higher interest rates.” He argued that wage growth “isn’t the problem when it comes to inflation, it’s part of the solution to the cost‑of‑living pressures Australians face.” Despite the increased wage growth, Australian households continue to face higher commodity prices and a worsening cost of living crisis. The Coalition has argued that measures to tackle the cost of living should focus on putting downward pressure on inflation, which the Labor government has failed to deliver in the budget. “Inflation, as we know, is stubbornly high. It’s quick to go up but very slow to come down, and the best thing that we could do to help families at the moment is to reduce their mortgage payments,” Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said.

Nearly 70 Percent of Australian Employers Look to Hire More as Wages Increase

Australia’s hiring outlooks are improving as over two-thirds of employers intend to recruit more workers over the June 2023 quarter. 

The Quarterly Australian Work Outlook Report, published by the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) on May 16, surveyed 60,600 HR and business leaders in Australia.

The report showed that 69 percent of organisations are planning to hire compared to six percent of employers who are planning redundancies. 

Notably, nearly half (46 percent) of businesses prefer to recruit casual workers mainly to manage short-term fluctuations in demand. Other reasons include providing flexibility for the individual, managing changes in business conditions and employee preference.  

Sarrah McCann-Bartlett, CEO of AHRI, said, “Everybody is looking for flexibility of some sort.” 

“Now we know that a high proportion of jobs in Australia can’t be done from home. There’s a lot of discussion about working from home, but only office workers can work from home,” she told Melbourne’s 3AW Radio on May 16. 

“Most of our employees around Australia are frontline workers who actually have to be in the workplace.” 

“But flexibility used to be a benefit. And it used to be something that was discretionary. That’s moved over to the must-have bucket, so everybody is expecting some kind of flexibility, whether it’s working from home, whether it’s flexible working hours, whether it’s compressed working weeks, everybody’s looking for some sort of flexibility.”

Recruitment Intentions High

Interestingly, only eight percent of small businesses intend to make redundancies. This means that some of the high-profile restructuring activity in corporations does not reflect the state of the whole economy. 

Recruitment intentions are higher in the public sector (82 percent) than in the private (67 percent) and non-profit sectors (76 percent)

On the flip side, nearly half (47 percent) of employers are experiencing recruitment difficulties. The most common reasons are lack of availability of suitable candidates (75 percent), high salary expectations (45 percent), and too much competition from rival organisations (34 percent)  

Wage growth is also picking up, with the mean basic pay rise predicted to be 3.3 percent in the 12 months to April 2023. But this trend is more prominent in the public sector (4.4 percent) than the private (3.2 percent) and non-profit (2.2 percent) sectors.  

The report noted that this trend is partly driven by some state government’s decisions to lift wage caps. Among them was the New South Wales government, which gave all public sector workers a three percent pay rise in 2022-23 and then 2.5 percent for each of the next two years. 

Last week’s budget also shows the Albanese government committing an $11.3 billion budget to fund a 15 percent pay rise for aged care workers.

Wages Going Up Around Australia

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the Wage Price Index increased by 0.8 percent in the March quarter.

“It’s really pleasing to see that wages are moving,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on May 17.

“We need to keep in mind that these are aggregate numbers, and we know they might not impact everyone, but this is another step in the right direction.”

“We also understand that many households are still doing it tough from cost-of-living-pressures and higher interest rates.”

He argued that wage growth “isn’t the problem when it comes to inflation, it’s part of the solution to the cost‑of‑living pressures Australians face.”

Despite the increased wage growth, Australian households continue to face higher commodity prices and a worsening cost of living crisis.

The Coalition has argued that measures to tackle the cost of living should focus on putting downward pressure on inflation, which the Labor government has failed to deliver in the budget.

“Inflation, as we know, is stubbornly high. It’s quick to go up but very slow to come down, and the best thing that we could do to help families at the moment is to reduce their mortgage payments,” Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said.