Businesses set to boost staffing levels
Businesses set to boost staffing levels

Almost half of WA businesses plan to put on extra staff in coming months, a new survey reveals, as mining firms find people lining up to join the resources boom.

The Hudson Employment Expectations report, released today, shows 47.6 per cent of firms quizzed in the State expect to increase their workforces. Another 49 per cent plan to keep the staff they have.

Hudson WA general manager Bruce Henderson said there had been a drop in the number of companies that expected to cut staff in a sign that the State's firms were increasingly confident.

"The optimistic outlook in WA is a result of the continued investment in major mining and energy projects by some of the world's biggest operators," he said.

"Jobs are being driven by new projects under construction as well as existing assets that are expanding or in ramp-up mode."

While a net 43.9 per cent of WA firms expect to lift staff numbers, nationally it is 21.7 per cent.

Hudson found WA businesses were becoming more sophisticated in assessing potential staff. Mr Henderson said many WA-based employees were moving sectors, forcing employers to carefully assess their skills and ability.

The report followed the ANZ's latest measure of job advertisements which rose for the third consecutive month in March.

Total ads increased by one per cent last month, driven by a similarly sized lift in internet jobs which now stand 4.1 per cent higher than in March last year. Those in newspapers fell by 0.6 per cent to be 22 per cent lower than a year ago.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said ads were up 12 per cent this year. The mining boom meant more WA resources sector ads went online to attract applicants from outside the State, he said.

"Increased volatility in other activity indicators from the rising importance of mining may spill over into job ads at times, but we remain optimistic on hiring intentions as a result of the mining boom," he said.

National Australia Bank's measure of business confidence showed a slight improvement in March and it said it believed the economy would grow at around trend in the coming financial year. "There are signs that the economy is gradually waking," CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said.

The West Australian

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