RTTNews - Confidence among Australian employers increased for the first time since March last year, after successively declining for five quarters, the latest Hudson Report Employment Expectations survey said Wednesday.

A net 6.5% employers expect to increase their permanent employees in the third quarter compared to a record low of 0.8% in the last quarter.

The employment landscape remains mutable and we should view this result as a stabilization in employer confidence rather than assuming the start of a consistent upward trend, Mark Steyn, CEO of Hudson said.

The overall rise in sentiment for the third quarter was seen across all regions, with Western Australia recording the highest rise in confidence. At the same time, confidence levels in Victoria and New South Wales returned to positive after falling into negative territory in the previous quarter.

The survey showed that there was a clear shift away from reducing headcount towards holding the current levels steady. Many employers were now using indirect strategies such as natural attrition and hiring freezes to contain costs, rather than direct actions such as redundancies, the report said.

In the meantime, while there were signs of optimism in hiring, output and business investment were falling, the survey pointed out.

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