Business survey shows job prospects set to grow

ONE of the more respected surveys around is the Dunn & Bradstreet business expectations survey.

The latest survey released this time last week portends good news for those seeking employment or hoping for continued employment.

Employers surveyed indicated that they are more likely to hire staff in the coming year than at any time in the past 10 years.

This of course is great news against a backdrop of the doom and gloom descending on the mining states of WA and Queensland as the construction phase in much of the resources sector draws to a close.

Particularly when Dunn & Bradstreet included Queensland especially of the two in its good-news story.

It's also good news to the manufacturing states of Victoria and South Australia against the backdrop of the fallout expected from the imminent closures of the Ford and Holden factories between now and 2017.

What the survey has shown is that there is oxygen in the trend that official figures have shown recently that we are getting a rebalancing of the economy away from mining to other sectors.

Selected for the tick were telecommunications, transport, infrastructure, tourism and construction.

Not uninfluential in the likelihood that our official unemployment rate will remain at 6% or better going forward is the Reserve Bank's excellent juggling of productivity-encouraging low interest rates and inflation.

At an official 2.5% cash rate, we have enjoyed the lowest rates since the early 1950s, critical to the stimulation of capital expenditure by business, the housing construction industry and consumer confidence.

Yet the lid has been kept on inflation despite this stimulatory monetary policy. In the year to June inflation was 3%, within the RBA's target range of 2-3%.

And the good news is that most economists think that it is unlikely that there will be an interest increase before next March.

Closer to home, Gladstone workers will be happy in the knowledge that despite the farcical attempt to convince the public of its green credentials by waving Al Gore about like a ventriloquist's dummy, the Palmer United Party will let Abbot's repeal of the carbon tax through the Senate.

The combination of poor global prices and the sharp increase in production costs because of the carbon tax were putting aluminium manufacturing in a very dark place.

QAL and the Boyne Smelter are very important to Gladstone's broader economy. That ain't rocket science.

Bob Lamont is director of Corporate Accountants situated at the Night Owl centre. He can be contacted on