[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet rose for a seventh straight month in December to reach their highest in at least two years, a hopeful sign of a pick up in demand for labour.
A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements rose 1.8 per cent to 140,521 per week on average in December. Annual growth in ads accelerated to 11.4 per cent, the fastest in two-and-a-half years.
Ads on the internet rose 1.8 per cent in December, while those in newspapers showed a rare increase of 3 per cent. "The good news is that the economy continues to produce new employment opportunities," said ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan. "The bad news is that this has not been quite enough to counteract the flow of new workers into the economy plus the ongoing loss of jobs in certain sectors." The official unemployment rate is currently 6.3 per cent, but it has 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. Forecasts are for a slight rise of only 3,800 jobs after a surprisingly strong 42,700 increase in November.