2023 Australian Recruitment outlook. To the moon or doom and gloom?

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​As the new year begins, the recruitment industry is trying to predict what the next 12 months will bring. The last two years have been good for the industry as job vacancies increased, causing some employers, including governments, to struggle to cope with the changing balance of power in the labor market. However, the mood among Australian business owners is currently cautious, if not pessimistic.

The latest results from leading recruitment companies in Australia show a decline in both temporary and permanent placement fees. Hays reported a 4% drop in temporary net fees and a 1% drop in permanent fees, while Robert Walters Australia saw a 3% decline in net fees. Meanwhile, Page Group (Michael Page) reported flat results.

The ABS labor market data for November 2022 showed little change, with unemployment staying at 3.4%. Total employment increased by 0.2%, with both full-time and part-time employment rising. The participation rate remained unchanged at 66.7%. However, the number of Australian employers reporting at least one vacancy rose to a new record high, up from 26.7% in August.

A recent survey from Robert Half found that 36% of Australian employers plan to increase their permanent headcount in 2023, while another 39% plan to maintain it at its current level. The recruitment difficulty rate decreased by 1 percentage point to 69% in November 2022.

In the United States, the labor market is also showing stability with unemployment improving to 3.5% in December 2022. The current quarter looks promising for US hiring, with the ManpowerGroup quarterly net employment outlook at 29%, down 4% from the last quarter.

It’s impossible to predict the future, but at the moment there are no signs that the demand for labor will decline significantly in the near future.

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