Aussies optimistic despite tumultuous year

Published at Dec 19, 2016, in Features

Despite bearish economic indicators, declining GDP figures and an unpredictable international political landscape, Australians remain optimistic about their economic future, heading into 2017 with more workers confident of a pay rise than this time last year, according to HR and recruitment specialists Randstad.

The latest Randstad Workmonitor Report (Wave 4 2016) reveals that more than half of Australians (53%) are optimistic the national economy will improve in the new year and, in a boost from last year, 57% are expecting a pay rise at the end of the ’16-17 fiscal year compared to 45% at the end of ’15-16.

Over two thirds (67%) of Aussie workers claimed their employer achieved stronger financial success this year compared with last year and nearly three-quarters (73%) expect their employer to perform even better in 2017.

Confidence was highest in workers aged under 45, with 61% of this younger group expecting the country to have a financially stronger 2017.

“In some respects, 2016 has become the year of ‘expect the unexpected’,” said Frank Ribuot, CEO of Randstad Australia & New Zealand.

“Political events were hard to predict, as were long and short-term economic outcomes, but despite some dire expectations from experts, we seem to have relatively high levels of workforce confidence compared to last year.

“Overall, Australians seem to be confident in this year’s financial results with an even better outcome expected for 2017.”

He added that while more than half were expecting a pay rise, most were not expecting an end of year reward.

“It is not always possible, but when it has been a financially successful year employers should consider passing on rewards and benefits to staff as part of their engagement and retention strategy. The end of year is a time when people reflect on their jobs, careers and long-term future, so even a small reward or increase in remuneration can boost morale,” he said.

Australian Confidence Beats Asian Counterparts

Of the 33 countries surveyed, Australians are considerably more optimistic than many other Asian nations.

Compared with 53% of Australians expecting an improved economy in 2017, only 43% of Singaporeans, 42% of Malaysians and just one quarter of Japanese respondents were as optimistic.

New Zealanders were slightly more optimistic than Australians with 59% expecting their economy to rally. 77% of New Zealanders thought their employer would perform better in 2017, 4% higher than Australians.

Randstad Workmonitor Q4 research highlights:

  • 67% of Australians said their employer performed better financially in 2016 than 2015 (62% globally; 71% New Zealand)
  • 73% of Australians expect their employer to perform better financially in 2017 (69% globally; 77% New Zealand)
  • 53% of Australians expect the economic situation to improve in 2017 (52% globally; 58% New Zealand)
  • 57% Australians expect to receive a pay rise at the end of the fiscal year (53% globally; 57% New Zealand)
  • 38% Australians expect to receive a one-time financial reward at the end of the fiscal year (49% globally; 32% New Zealand)

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