With the national unemployment figures rising and an increasingly fragile economy, the latest EL Executive Demand Index reveals a drop of 5% in November across all business and industry sectors compared with October when demand dropped a massive 17%.
While demand for IT executives did fall in November, IT was the only sector not to fall in October, and EL managing director Grant Montgomery says the IT sector remains “well above its recent lows and in the middle of its recent trading range”.
Despite the November figure and October losses, the Index remains above the lows hit in June this year, although it is now lower than the corresponding period in 2014.
Montgomery says the fallout in new executive positions directly relates to a lack of business confidence and as the country is now heading into the traditionally low hiring holiday season this is tipped to continue.
“There is no likelihood of an upturn in this important indicator for the rest of this year and into early next year,” Montgomery warns.
“Traditionally Australia always lagged behind the bigger economies and this time round we were heavily insulated from a downturn by a China expansion driven resources boom.
“That boom has at least for the time being subsided and we could be very well be about to experience our very own financial crisis.”
Montgomery also says that it is very clear from recent GDP figures that if there wasn’t some heavy infrastructure spending and investment in NSW that Australian economic growth could already be into negative numbers.
“Unless there is a big up kick in consumer spending over the next two months we could start seeing some negative growth figures.
“While two negative quarters of economic growth is unlikely at this point there may be a compelling case for the Reserve Bank to reconsider its ‘stability’ arguments and drop the official rates in the first quarter next year.
“Whatever the outcome it is very clear that business confidence is falling fast and the road for the Australian economy in the near future could be a little bit rocky.”
Montgomery says the general volatility in the national economy was reflected in the sectors, with engineering producing the largest increase, followed by marketing.
EL reveals that New South Wales remains the largest provider of executive jobs overall, and in all sectors except marketing, the smaller states and territories experienced slight falls.