Fourteen per cent of Australian manufacturing companies say they will cut staff numbers in the first quarter of 2012, according to new research.
The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows the manufacturing industry has the weakest hiring expectations in the country.
On the flipside, 20% of manufacturing employers say they will increase their hiring in the first quarter.
However, Manpower’s seasonally-adjusted Net Employment Outlook (NEO) shows contraction, at +6% for the first quarter, compared to +19% in the same quarter of 2011.
“The manufacturing employment outlook has been declining all year, as companies battle a strong Aussie dollar, cheap imports and weakening consumer sentiment,” said ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand managing director, Lincoln Crawley.
“However, it’s not all doom and gloom: 20% of employers are still keen to increase staff numbers, so there are clearly still some bright spots in the sector,” he said.
The overall local employment market is expected to reach a NEO of +14% in the first quarter, which is positive when compared with the United States’ NEO at +9%, and the United Kingdom at 0%.
“It’s heartening to see that almost one in four employers are planning to grow their workforce as 2012 kicks off. While another ten per cent are planning to trim staff numbers, on balance, Australian employers are staying pretty optimistic in the face of a gloomy global outlook,” Crawley said.
By comparison, employers in the Mining & Construction sector continue to hire, with an expected NEO of +19% through the first three months of the year.