According to a quarterly report on employment trends by recruitment firm Hudson, 18.7 per cent of employers expect to increase permanent staffing levels in the first three months of 2015.
That compares to a rate of only 13.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
The latest Hudson report contains the most optimistic result in 33 months and the biggest quarterly increase in five years.
Queensland was the most confident state, with 20.4 per cent of employers forecasting an increased permanent headcount in the first quarter of next year.
That was followed by Victoria with 19.7 per cent, NSW and South Australia with 19.4 per cent, Western Australia with 14.9 per cent and the ACT with 14.5 per cent.
The two most confident sectors were financial services and legal – 36.9 per cent of employers in both sectors expected to increase their permanent staffing levels.
The most pessimistic sector was accounting and finance with 9.8 per cent.
Hudson said the surge of confidence in the overall economy reflects an ongoing structural transformation and a subsequent change in skill-sets to compete in a post-GFC world.
“While the outlook is buoyant, the thirst for talent is centred on specific sectors and role families that support business transformation,” according to Hudson.
“These often newly-created roles are critical to future success and profitability, and as such may be less impacted by broader economic trends in the months ahead.”
According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the national unemployment rate rose from 6.2 to 6.3 per cent between October and November 2014.