Employment growth slows but wages set to rise in 2024, say HR professionals

Employment intentions have reached their lowest levels in at least a year, but businesses are currently not contemplating mass lay-offs. Instead, they are anticipating raising wages to retain their existing staff.

These insights stem from a survey conducted by the Australian HR Institute (AHRI), which involved more than 600 human resources professionals representing a diverse range of small, medium, and large employers across both the private and public sectors. The report, in its inaugural year, gathered data for the latest March quarter survey conducted between January 9 and 18.

According to the findings, net employment intentions have declined from +41 in the December 2023 quarter to +33 in the March 2024 quarter. This metric illustrates the variance between the proportion of employers expecting to augment staff levels and those anticipating a reduction in overall headcount.

Although overall employment is projected to increase in the forthcoming months, the rate of expansion is anticipated to be less pronounced compared to previous periods. Specifically, 36 percent of organizations plan to expand their workforce during the March 2024 quarter, while only 3 percent intend to reduce their overall workforce size.

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