Excerpted from Australia Career Guide
Economic and Employment Outlook
Australia has an enviable, strong economy with the world’s fifth-highest per capita GDP, just behind Switzerland and outranking Sweden, the UAE and the United States. The country’s GDP is estimated at more than 1.2 billion USD, with a per capita GDP of 33,300 USD.
Exports: The country is also a significant exporter of natural resources, energy and food. Last year, exports to China increased 39 percent to 64.84 billion AUD (64.90 billion USD). That growth has had a dramatic impact on Australia’s economy, with exports to China now accounting for a quarter of the country’s total.
Services Sector: The services sector accounts for more than 70 percent of Australia’s GDP (with finance, property and business services in the lead), with industry at 26 percent and agriculture at 4 percent. The Australian government could return to budget surpluses as early as 2015, according to The CIA World Fact Book. Currently, the government is focused on raising Australia's slowing productivity to ensure the sustainability of growth. Unemployment dropped to 5 percent last year, compared to more than 9 percent in the United States and the European Union.
Areas of Job Promise
Australia’s two-speed economy has created inconsistencies in the country’s employment market, according to recruiting firm Robert Walters. Parts of Western Australia and Queensland are experiencing wage inflation and labor shortages for both skilled and unskilled workers. Mining professionals willing to work in remote areas can command ‘significant salaries.’ But these workers are only a small part of Australia’s work force.
Global employment services firm Manpower reports structural changes are occurring in the employment market. Some sectors are flourishing, while others are shrinking, according to Lincoln Crawley, managing director, Manpower Group Australia and New Zealand.
Net Employment Outlook by the Numbers:
- 24 percent of Australian employers expect to increase number of staff.
- 11 percent plan a decrease staff.
Skills in Demand
Languages: The need for additional language skills is a common theme across all sectors. For those whose first language is English, ability to speak a second or third language with any ability is prized.
People and communications: The ability to work efficiently as part of a team, build relationships and make effective presentations to clients and senior managers is essential.
Team management and leadership: Hays reports these skills are lacking across the board. There is strong need for investment in education and professional training.
Organization: Organizational skills are highly valued. Employers look for candidates who can organize their time efficiently, make the greatest possible contribution and add the greatest value to the company.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Australia Guide.