SA business owners expect unemployment rate to rise: survey

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Australian Unemployment
A pedestrian walks past a man holding a sign as he begs for money on a main street in central Sydney March 18, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Over half of South Australian business owners think that the unemployment rate in the state will rise in the months ahead, the latest Business SA confidence survey has revealed. The poll of nearly 200 business owners in the state found that around two thirds expected to spend more to keep and recruit staff.

The poll has found that 56.7 percent of respondents are expecting the unemployment rate to rise, while 12.8 percent tipped the SA economy to strengthen over the next 12 months. It can be compared to 30.8 percent for the national economy.

Business SA’s Survey of Business Expectations for the June quarter shows that several business owners in SA fear profitability will drop. There is more confidence about the value of the Aussie dollar, and the inflation rate remains stable.

The poll was taken within weeks of the delivery of the State Budget. It encompassed a period of soaring electricity prices and a rise to the minimum wage from July 1.

About half of those that participated with the survey were small businesses, and about a third were medium-sized operations. The findings come as SA’s unemployment rate sits at 6.2 percent.

According to Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride, the poll also revealed that businesses were struggling with increasing costs, and that confidence had “taken a dive.” “Overheads are escalating because business conditions are worsening, profits are falling and there are genuine fears that conditions may well worsen,” he said, according to The Advertiser. McBride said confidence and improve economic conditions must grow in the state.

'Bro-culture'

Meanwhile, Mike Pritchett, chief executive and co-founder of Sydney start-up Shootsta, said businesses are becoming a boys' club. "As our industry (video production) is quite male-dominated, it was and continues to be very important for us to employ both junior and senior people that are different to the founders in all ways - gender, age and more,” Sydney Morning Herald quotes him as saying.

In Australia, reports brought to light issues about harassment. Some leaders in the start-up industry are taking steps to discuss the issue.

Co- founder of on-demand recruitment platform Weploy Nick La has warned that the “bro culture" can hinder the growth of an enterprise. He suggested that SMEs should start with recognising and understanding the problem, and there has to be mindset shift in an organisation as such type of behaviour is unacceptable and should be addressed.

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