Upbeat manufacturers look to employ more

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

Manufacturing activity has perked up in recent months, buoyed by road building and other infrastructure projects by the states and private commercial building.

The latest Westpac-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry trends survey showed its composite index rose to 63.8 points in the June quarter after moderating to 59.4 over the previous six months.

Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said a relatively low Australian dollar and robust global growth are also supporting exporters.

"Expectations are positive, centred on new orders and output, as well as a renewed expansion in employment," he told reporters in Canberra.

These results come ahead of Thursday's official labour force figures for May.

Economists expect around 20,000 people found employment in May after a 22,600 increase in the previous month.

The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 5.6 per cent.

This follows a fairly patchy start to the year, which included two months of small employment declines, after the record of more than 400,000 jobs secured over 2017.

A separate survey signalled more employers expect to increase their staffing levels in the coming months than not.

The ManpowerGroup employment outlook survey for the September quarter found especially upbeat hiring intentions in services and public administration and education sectors.

The survey of 1500 Australian employers found this positive tone wasn't being felt in wholesale and retail, and the finance, insurance, mining and construction sectors.

However, there is strong demand for labour from Australia's largest firms, an ongoing trend for over two years.

"The strength of Australia's labour market is evident across the economy despite softer outlooks in some sectors," ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand managing director Richard Fischer said.

"Rather than employment growth being dependent on one sector, such as during the mining boom, we are now seeing a sustained positive outlook across all sectors."