Hiring intentions among Australian employers are at an 18-month high, according to a new report.

Good news jobseekers: more employers are looking to hire rather than fire people for the remainder of the year.

A survey of almost 4,000 Australian employers by recruitment firm Hudson revealed hiring intentions were at an 18-month high with one in four employers looking to increase their headcount in 2014.

It was the highest quarterly rise in hiring intentions in almost four years, Hudson says, and comes after official figures showing the economy added a massive 121,000 jobs in August.

And the news is even better if you’re in the legal profession, with almost half of employers looking to boost their permanent headcount.

Hudson executive general manager Dean Davidson said the latest official unemployment figures, as well as job ads surveys from ANZ and Seek, pointed to a broad strengthening of the labour market.

“Legal and professional services are a very good lead indicator of confidence in the market place. They’re the first to rebound in a recovery, which is what we’re seeing now,” Mr Davidson told AAP.

The Hudson survey revealed 65 per cent of employers intended to keep their headcount steady while the number of employers intending to shed staff had fallen to 11 per cent.

Hiring intentions were mostly upbeat across the states, except for the ACT where the number of employers looking to fire outweighs those looking to hire.

It’s best to be a jobseeker in Queensland, where 28 per cent of employers intend to put on additional staff in the next three months.

Western Australia isn’t too far behind with one in four employers expecting to increase their workforce – a good sign for the mining-focused state as the mining investment boom winds down.

The Queensland and WA economies had gone through a transformational period, Mr Davidson said, and were now less reliant on the resources sector.

“Queensland, in particular, has the highest expected increase in headcount for the coming quarter and that’s not been underpinned by coal or oil and gas. It’s across a range of sectors,” he said.

“We’re really starting to see strengthening diversity within the industry sector mix within our larger states, which is good.

“The oil, gas and resources sector will always be critically important, but I think what we’re finding is that we’re becoming less reliant on it as we’re starting to strengthen in other sectors across the country.”


QLD – 28% to hire, 9% to fire

VIC – 25% to hire, 9% to fire

WA – 25% to hire, 8% to fire

SA – 23% to hire, 12% to fire

NSW – 22% to hire, 12% to fire

ACT – 16% to hire, 20% to fire

* The survey doesn’t cover Tasmania or the Northern Territory.