Start-ups look set to benefit from the latest employment figures, which show more people are looking for full-time and part-time work.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of people looking for full-time and part-time work has increased by 30,000 and 2,100 respectively.
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The overall unemployment rate was slightly higher than economists predicted at 5.4%. Full-time employment fell by 14,100 while part-time employment increased by 43,800.
The workforce participation rate increased to a record high of 65.9%, indicating more people are now either working or looking for work.
HR expert Martin Nally says the statistics show Australia is in a state of suppression due to the level of uncertainty within the economy.
“There is plenty of cash around but people are circumspect and cautious. They’re suppressing their activities at the moment, waiting for other signs in the economy to pick up,” Nally says.
“That is being reflected in that odd combination of statistics and I think the interest rate didn’t help, particularly leading into Christmas.”
“In lots of ways, the Australian economy is two-speed but the second speed is so driven by the retail sector that if we’d had no increase in interest rates and a really solid Christmas, then we would’ve entered next year in much better shape.”
Nally says in light of the unemployment figures, particularly the number of people looking for work, start-ups are well placed to attract staff.
“For smart start-ups, it is going to be an opportunity to position themselves as offering something to people who want flexibility,” he says.
“If there are more people looking for part-time roles, it’s time now for people to really redefine the work-life equation and start to realise that they can get a lot of value out of people and still manage their budget really, really well.”