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Australia job advertisements steady in December
[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet were barely changed in December after four straight months of growth, held back in part by the timing of the Christmas Day holiday.
A monthly survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements dipped 0.1 per cent to 155,704 per week on average in December, from November when they rose 1.1 per cent.
Ads were still 10.0 per cent higher on December last year.
Internet ads eased 0.1 per cent in December, while newspaper ads fell 1.2 per cent. Newspaper ads have been in decline for years and account for only a fraction of the total.
Warren Hogan, ANZ's chief economist, noted internet job ads were recorded as a snapshot each Friday and one of those was the Christmas Day holiday. "As a result, this is likely to have somewhat depressed measured job ads for the month," said Hogan.
The trend measure of ads, which tries to adjust for monthly volatility, rose 0.8 per cent in December to be up 11.4 per cent for the year. "The positive job ads trend suggests that the jobless rate should remain below 6 per cent in coming months and could even improve a little further," said Mr Hogan.
Official measures of employment blew past expectations in both October and November, though it was unclear how much of the outsized gains were due to statistical quirks.
The December jobs report is due on Thursday and analysts are forecasting a drop of around 12,500 as payback. The jobless rate is also seen edging up to 5.9 per cent after an unexpected fall to 5.8 per cent in November.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cited solid employment growth as one reason it kept interest rates unchanged at 2.0 per cent over the past few months.