ACT government employers wait and see

By Lilia Guan
A dip in employment expectations in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) for the coming three months reflects employers’ more conservative approach to hiring as the public sector works towards achieving the government’s budget objectives, said recruitment firm – Hudson.
In its latest survey of 4481 Australian employers (14 percent of the total survey sample were government contacts), Hudson reported the majority of government sector employers in the ACT expected to either keep the workforce steady or lift headcount in the second quarter.
Hudson’s general manager in the ACT, Angela Powell said the report shows 3.8 per cent of employers in the government sector plan to increase permanent headcount over the coming three months.
This represents a 14.5 percentage point dip compared to last quarter.
“Clients in the public sector are offering non-ongoing positions and in some cases labour hire contracts up until 30 June this year,” she said.
“They appear to be refraining from offering long-term arrangements beyond this time. 
“They’re taking more of a wait-and-see approach – especially until after the Federal Budget is announced in May and we see this flowing over in to the private sector.”
Ms Powell said encouragingly the majority of employers are still optimistic about maintaining headcount or hiring new staff in the second half of 2012.
However there were still skills shortages in the areas of IT and accounting, she said.
“There is ongoing demand for policy, program, communications/stakeholder management, business analysts and project managers.”

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