ManpowerGroup predicts strong hiring momentum in Q1 of 2023

Penny O’Reilly, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup Australia

Australia job seekers can expect the strong hiring momentum from 2022 to extend into the first quarter of 2023 amidst continued country wide talent shortage. According to ManpowerGroup’s latest Employment Outlook Survey report, out of 1020 employers surveyed, 48% of the employers surveyed in Australia reported intentions to increase their headcount, 14% anticipate a decrease in employees while 36% expect no changes to their staff numbers.

What were the key findings of the survey?

The resulting Net Employment Outlook is +32% after seasonal adjustments, weakening by 6 percentage points from the last quarter and 5 percentage points in comparison to one year ago. The Employment Outlook Survey finds that the impact of a possible global recession, rising inflation, and a higher cost of doing business has begun to play out in labour markets, but the decline is not as steep as the economic forecasts and headlines would suggest.


  • Healthy hiring activity is anticipated in the first quarter of 2023 with employers across Australia reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +32%.
  • 48% of employers report intentions to hire, with the strongest hiring Outlook reported in the Transport, Logistics & Automotive sector.
  • Staffing numbers are expected to increase across most regions in Australia, with job prospects forecast to be strongest in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria.

Main findings:

  • Positive headcount growth anticipated across all sectors: Employers across all 9 sectors in the survey report positive hiring intentions, with the strongest hiring Outlooks reported in the Transport, Logistics & Automotive (+44%), Financials & Real Estate (+41%), and Information Technology (+38%) sectors.
  • Hiring demand strongest in Transport, Logistics & Automotive: The Net Employment Outlook for Transport, Logistics & Automotive is +44%, strengthening by 15 percentage points since the last quarter but weakens by 9 percentage points from the same time a year ago.
  • Healthy staffing gains anticipated across regions except for Australia Capital Territory: Almost all regions across Australia are anticipating healthy staffing gains from January to March 2023, with employers in the Northern Territory (+43%), Western Australia (+37%) and Victoria (+37%) reporting the strongest labour markets.

Meanwhile, the Net Employment Outlook for Australia Capital Territory is 0%, plunging by 50 percentage points quarter-on-quarter and 39 percentage points year-on-year.

  • Medium-sized organisations leading hiring demand: Organisations of all sizes are hiring, with Medium-sized organisations reporting the strongest hiring intentions (+36%). Large organisations and Small organisations both reported brisk Outlooks of +35% and +30% respectively. Meanwhile, hiring sentiment in Micro organisations remain upbeat with a reported Outlook of +21%.

Hiring managers across the Asia Pacific anticipate generally strong (+25%) but slowing hiring intentions, also weakening since the previous quarter and year by -15% and –11%, respectively. Singapore (+33%), Australia (+32%), and India (+32%) report the most optimistic Outlooks, most cautious in Japan (+8%) and also in Taiwan (+11%). Around the world, the strongest hiring intentions in the Financials & Real Estate sector are to be found in Singapore (+57%).

What were the executive remarks of the survey?

While employers across all sectors report plans to add to their workforce, 3 out of 9 sectors reported stronger hiring Outlooks from Q4 2022. In comparison with the last quarter, hiring sentiments have strengthened in the Communication Services and Transport, Logistics & Automotive sectors by 29 percentage points and 15 percentage points respectively. Similarly, the Net Employment Outlook strengthened in 3 out of 9 sectors in a year-on-year comparison.

ManpowerGroup Australia Managing Director, Penny O’Reilly says, “While the latest research figures show a slight decrease in the Net Employment Outlook nationally, the market remains very active. The fact that almost one in two Australian organisations intend to hire in Q1, suggests that business leaders are confident about the year ahead and things might look up.”

“This time last year, the COVID pandemic drove the demand in Australia’s Transport, Logistics and Automotive sector to record highs. Despite a nine percentage point decrease across the year, hiring expectations in the sector remain the highest in the country in Q1 this year.”

“With demand remaining strong across all sectors, the challenge will again be on the talent supply side of the equation, a shortage of staff and employees. Unfortunately, employers can expect to be challenged by a talent short market for some time yet,” Ms O’Reilly said.



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