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Australia job ads climb to 23-month high in November: survey

[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet rose for a sixth straight month in November to reach their highest in 23 months, a potential pointer to gradual recovery in labour demand.

A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements rose 0.7 per cent to 138,053 per week on average in November. That was the highest average since January last year, while annual growth in ads accelerated to 8.9 per cent.

Ads on the internet rose 0.9 per cent in November, while those in newspapers dropped 5.4 per cent continuing a long trend toward online advertising. "This is an encouraging sign and is consistent with a number of similarly forward-looking indicators that point to some near-term improvement in employment growth and stabilisation in the unemployment rate," said ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan. "Our broad assessment is that labour market conditions have improved but growth headwinds over the next few years will likely limit the prospects for any material improvement." The unemployment rate is currently at 6.2 per cent having been unusually volatile in recent months as the Australian Bureau of Statistics ran into survey troubles that distorted the numbers.

The official employment figures for November are due on Thursday and forecasts favour a rise of 15,000 and a jobless rate of 6.3 per cent.