Employers across all sectors are looking to take on employees, according to the Manpower data.
Mining leads the way, with 26% of organisations planning to take on new staff, and 3% anticipating job losses. Seasonal adjustments mean the sector has an NEO of 26%.
And the utilities sector is also optimistic, with more than 21% of companies anticipating recruitment activity, and a seasonally adjusted NEO of 16%, compared with just 4% this time last year.
Agriculture remains firmly rooted at the bottom of the pile, but its seasonally adjusted NEO of 5% is a 10% rise on the same period last year.
The construction and finance sectors slumped over the past 12 months, while manufacturing is surprisingly buoyant. It has a seasonal NEO of 10%, up from 6% in 2005, with just under a fifth of employers in the sector expecting to recruit.
The hotel and retail sector is also upbeat, with a seasonal NEO of 12% – up from 5% in 2005.