Job losses ‘stabilising’ says business survey

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Job losses ‘stabilising’ says business survey

Employment losses in Australia seem to be stabilising, according to the latest Business Conditions survey by the NSW Business Chamber.

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Employment losses in Australia seem to be stabilising, according to the latest Business Conditions survey by the NSW Business Chamber.
 
The survey also shows that employers are cutting workers’ hours as an alternative to redundancies.
 
According to the survey, 15% of employers expect an increase in number of employees, 17% expect a decrease and 68% expect their workforce numbers to remain the same in the next quarter.
 
The survey has confirmed that business conditions in New South Wales are rebounding from the lows of earlier this year.
 
Reasons for hope
 
‘There are reasons to hope that the recession might not be as deep or as prolonged in NSW,’ said Stephen Cartwright, CEO of NSW Business Chamber.
 
‘It is clear that the Federal Budget’s economic stimulus package has acted as a circuit breaker in terms of declining confidence.’
 
The July 2009 NSW Business Chamber Business Conditions Survey found:
  • 43% of businesses thought the performance of the NSW economy was somewhat or much weaker in the current quarter, compared to 65% who thought the same in April
  • 30% of businesses expect better business conditions in the coming quarter, compared to 23% who expect a deterioration, and 47% expect conditions to stay the same
  • 47% have experienced a decline in profitability during the past quarter
  • while 44% of businesses saw sales decline in last quarter, 36% of businesses expect an increase in sales in the coming quarter
  • employment losses appear to be stabilising (15% expect an increase in number of employees, 17% expect decrease and 68% expect the same).
 
‘Whilst there has been an improvement in the overall outlook of business, these figures confirm that businesses will continue to do it tough for some time, with a majority of businesses across most measures believing that business conditions will stay the same,’ Cartwright said.
 
Cutting hours
 
‘The survey reflects the ABS employment figures released last Thursday that demonstrate employers are cutting hours as an alternative to redundancy. The last quarter saw 27% of businesses reduce hours and respondents indicating a moderation of fears about further job losses.'
 
‘We aren’t out of the woods yet, but there are glimmers of hope.'
 
‘The quick action of the stimulus package and the lowering of interest rates by the Reserve Bank, appears to have acted as a circuit breaker in terms of domestic conditions, however further improvement is dependent on broader conditions in the world economy.’
 
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