IT is the most positive industry in terms of Australian hiring intentions, according to recruitment agency, Hudson.
In its latest report, Hudson Report: Employment Trends, it showed the industry moved up 11.2 percentage points (pp) this quarter to 43.1 per cent.
According to Hudson, the rise reflects an investment in innovation, better business processes and productivity.
It also claimed there is a priority to ensure a pipeline of highly skilled ICT workers for the nation to fuel growth in the digital economy and reduce the risk of a skills shortage.
About 12,300 new ICT jobs are expected to be available in 2013, with further growth anticipated to 2015.
On a broader scale, Australian employers' hiring intentions are mixed with more than half of employers (59.6 per cent) intending to keep staffing levels steady and a quarter (24.7 per cent) intending to employ more people.
"Market and economic indicators are mixed and employers are doing their best to interpret what they mean for their businesses and hiring needs," Hudson Asia-Pacific CEO, Mark Steyn, said.
"Some employers are sitting tight and delaying hiring or, in some cases, looking at ways they can cut costs should circumstances worsen. While others are forging ahead, adapting their business models and continuing to invest and this is driving the demand for staff."
Positive hiring intentions also increased in industries such as transport (up 8.5 percentage points), fast moving consumer goods (up 7.8pp) government (up 4.7pp), manufacturing (up 1.8pp), as well as finance services and insurance (up 1.0pp).
However, the resources sector has experienced the biggest drop in hiring intentions, down 12.1pp from last quarter, with an effect on associated industries such as construction, property, and engineering.
Healthcare (excluding government) and utilities are also reporting lower hiring intentions. Statistics were different across the various states in Australia.
NSW, VIC and ACT all reported increased hiring intentions compared to last quarter, while figures for the resources-driven states -- WA, SA and QLD were down compared to last quarter.
Hiring intentions in ACT was up 5.7pp to 30.3 per cent, NSW up 0.7pp to 27.0 per cent, and Victoria up 1.7pp to 22.1 per cent.
In WA, hiring intentions dropped by 5.0pp to 30.9 per cent, Queensland reported a drop of 5.8pp to 18.6 per cent, while SA was down 1.2pp to 22.6 per cent.
The report also showed retaining staff and enhancing the productivity of existing teams are the top HR priorities, which reflect the intentions of many businesses to keep staffing levels steady.
"Staff retention, capability and strong leaders have a material impact on productivity and must be addressed if employers are to succeed in their quest," Steyn said.