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Employment market to stabilise - survey

Employment market to stabilise - survey

The number of companies planning to keep staffing levels unchanged has risen to its highest level since 2009.

The employment market is expected to chug along nicely but there's not a lot of confidence that the economy will return to levels last seen before the global financial crisis.

Intentions to hire and fire have fallen but the number of companies planning to keep their staffing levels unchanged has risen to its highest level since 2009, a survey of almost 3,000 employers in Australia shows.

Recruitment company Hudson, which commissioned the report, says while hiring intentions are still positive, employers are cautious.

"Leaders are focused on positioning their businesses to best compete and win," Hudson Asia-Pacific chief executive Mark Steyn said.

"The recent rebound in commodity prices has had a bearing on improved hiring sentiment for the resources sector, which is also benefiting those industries that service it."

One surprise in the report was the information technology sector having the highest hiring intentions for the second quarter in a row.

Mr Steyn said companies were trying to reduces costs and increase efficiencies while they adopted to the new normal of a high Australian dollar and increased competition.

"Technology absolutely comes to the fore when you have corporations growing efficiency programs because they tend to drive further automation and streamlining of the operation," he said.

"It might not be just in developing online shopping channels, it's also about how they analyse, diagnose and dissect the data, and the convergence of marketing and IT to figure out where are the niches."

Mr Steyn said he didn't expect the unemployment rate to fluctuate too much this year, which in February was 5.4 per cent.

He said there had been a resurgence in consumer confidence and that the resources boom had a long way to go, with a number of large projects almost at completion and were yet to start shipping exports.

Only 24 per cent of firms reported they intended to increase their workforce in the April, May and June period.

The report showed 63 per cent intended to maintain their staffing levels, while 12.6 per cent said they might reduce their employee numbers.

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