Unemployment rise reflects employer sentiment

The small rise in unemployment is beginning to reflect on-the-ground anecdotal evidence being shared by its members, says the Employment and Manufacturers Association.

EMA head of advocacy, strategy and finance, Alan McDonald says the EMA has been talking to members throughout late June and July “and those looking forward were pretty pessimistic about hiring new people as they noticed a downturn in their forward pipelines for orders and work”.

The association points to Treasury announcing a small rise in unemployment data from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent with figures also showing liquidations are up 36 percent on last year, further contributing to unemployment.

“Where there have been vacancies our members report more people applying for vacant positions, a significant change from late last year when there were virtually no applicants and interviewees for most roles,” McDonald says.

He notes however that it’s “still a bit patchy with technical skills still very difficult to find, and basic skills among those first entering the workplace lacking in terms of work readiness”.

“The other concern is that since the start of the year, inquiries to our Adviceline service for assistance around restructuring and redundancies in the workplace have more than doubled. In June that was just under 100 inquiries in the month from businesses wanting to restructure and/or make people redundant.”

McDonald says the EMA’s consulting team “has also noticed a sharp increase in the volume of their work in redundancies and restructuring and our legal team is also fielding more inquiries in this area”.

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