Twice as many businesses intend to hire staff in the New Year compared to the final months of 2013, reversing 18 months of weak expectations on employment and signalling that confidence in the economy is building.

Despite the International Monetary Fund forecasting that Australia’s unemployment rate will rise from its current official level of 5.7 per cent, to over six per cent in 2014, the most recent Business Expectations Survey from Dun & Bradstreet suggests that companies are more optimistic.  Ten per cent of businesses surveyed by D&B intend to take on new staff in the first quarter of 2014, while five per cent plan to reduce their employment activity. In the previous quarter, just four per cent of businesses indicated they would lift employment, and a year earlier the response was seven per cent.

D&B Australia Q1 Employment forcast 2014The more positive outlook has taken D&B’s employment index to 5.1 points, its highest level since the June quarter 2012 and above zero for the first time in six months. Meanwhile, actual employment reported by businesses for the September quarter of this year improved sharply from -8 points to -0.8 points.

Supporting their capacity to employ more staff, D&B’s survey has found that 25 per cent of businesses expect stronger sales in the first three months of next year; a lift from 15 per cent in the previous quarter. Additionally, 33 per cent anticipate higher profits; an increase from 28 per cent.  In more general positive findings, D&B’s survey also reveals that 70 per cent of respondents are more optimistic about growth in the New Year compared to 2013.

To read the full Survey click on this link: DB Business Expectations Survey – Q1 2014 – interim

For further information contact:
Josh Maher | Manager, Communications & Corporate Affairs
Dun & Bradstreet Australia | Level 6, 479 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
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