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[SYDNEY] Job vacancies in Australia have risen for a fourth straight quarter to hit the highest since early 2011, adding to evidence that demand for labour was recovering from a soft patch.
Total job vacancies rose 1.6 percent to 189,000 seasonally adjusted in the March-May quarter, from 186,100 in the three months to February, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed. Vacancies were 6.6 per cent higher than in the same period of 2016.
Vacancies in the private sector climbed 1.3 per cent to 170,100, again the highest since early 2011. That was up 5.9 per cent on the May quarter of last year.
Public sector vacancies rose 3.8 per cent from the previous quarter to 18,900, the highest since at least 2009.
Analysts value the vacancies series as it has proved a reliable leading indicator of labour demand and turning points in employment growth.
The strength in vacancies tends to support official figures for employment which have shown a marked pick up in jobs growth in the last few months.