[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet eased in April, providing further signs demand for labour had peaked after a very strong run in 2015.
A monthly survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements slipped 0.8 per cent to 153,873 per week on average in April, from March when they edged up 0.1 per cent. Ads were still 6.3 per cent higher on April last year.
Internet ads fell 0.7 per cent in April, while newspaper ads dropped 6.2 per cent. Newspaper ads have been in decline for years and account for only a fraction of the total.
"Hiring looks to be taking a breather for the time being, and further significant inroads into the unemployment rate may be more difficult to achieve in the near term," said Felicity Emmett, head of Australian Economics at ANZ.
Official measures of employment surprised with their strength for much of last year but have softened in the past few months. The jobless rate fell to 30-month lows in March as the economy generated more part-time work after a run of meagre months.
The April jobs report is due on May 19.