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[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet posted a third month of growth in October, an encouraging sign that the demand for labour is holding up.
A monthly survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements rose 0.4 per cent to 154,358 per week on average in October, from September when they rose 3.9 per cent.
Ads were 12.1 per cent higher on October last year.
Internet ads edged up 0.3 per cent in October, while newspaper ads rose 3 per cent. Newspaper job ads have been in decline for years and account for only a fraction of the total. "The improving trend in job advertising is good news. Despite some challenges, the economy overall is currently tracking along pretty well," said Warren Hogan, chief economist at ANZ. "In particular, many services industries are experiencing relatively strong demand, and these industries are typically quite labour intensive." But Mr Hogan cautioned that growth could wane in the first half of 2016, which coincides with his views that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will have to cut interest rates next year.
The RBA left its cash rate at 2.0 per cent after its November policy meeting last week, but did note that subdued inflation meant there was scope for an easing should economic growth disappoints.
The central bank cited solid employment growth as one reason for keeping policy steady. The official labour report for October is due on Thursday and analysts are forecasting a rise of around 15,000 with the jobless rate staying at 6.2 per cent.