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Australia job advertisements edge up 0.2% in March: ANZ

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Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet inched ahead in March, a potential sign demand for labour had peaked after a very strong 2015.

[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet inched ahead in March, a potential sign demand for labour had peaked after a very strong 2015.

A monthly survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements rose 0.2 per cent to 155,108 per week on average in March, from February when they fell 1.2 per cent.

Ads were still 10.0 per cent higher on March last year.

Internet ads rebounded by 0.4 per cent in March, while newspaper ads dropped 11.4 per cent. Newspaper ads have been in decline for years and account for only a fraction of the total.

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"The number of job ads has been broadly unchanged for four months now, signalling an easing in hiring intentions," said ANZ senior economist Justin Fabo. "To some extent this is unsurprising given the strong pace of jobs growth over much of 2015 and modest improvement in the unemployment rate."

Official measures of employment surprised with their strength for much of last year but have softened in the past few months. The jobless rate has been mostly steady around 6 per cent, when many had thought it would rise toward 6.5 per cent over time.

"Hiring is taking a breather but we expect jobs growth to maintain enough momentum over the coming six months to keep the unemployment rate within earshot of 5.75 per cent," said Mr Fabo.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cited the resilience of employment as an argument against the need for further cuts in interest rates, but left open the door for an easing should unemployment start to rise again.

The March jobs report is due on April 21.

REUTERS

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