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Australia job advertisements dip 0.3% in Feb: ANZ survey

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Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet eased only slightly in February after boasting their biggest rise in a decade the previous month, a solid result that pointed to still-healthy demand for labour.

[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet eased only slightly in February after boasting their biggest rise in a decade the previous month, a solid result that pointed to still-healthy demand for labour.

A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group out on Monday showed total job advertisements dipped 0.3 per cent in February, from January when they jumped 6.2 per cent.

The average total number of ads per week was 177,284, up a brisk 13.3 per cent compared to a year ago.

"Encouragingly, ANZ Job Ads have held on to their gain in January and, as such, a slight fall in February is not cause for concern," said David Plank, ANZ's head of Australian economics.

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Market voices on:

"Business conditions remain elevated, job security continues to improve and capacity utilisation now sits at the highest rate since 2008."

Hiring surged past all expectations in the past year, according to the official measure of employment, pulling the jobless rate down to 5.5 per cent.

Yet wage growth stayed unusually tepid at just 2.1 per cent, dragging on household incomes and consumer spending power.

With inflation also contained, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is considered certain to keep interest rates at an historic low of 1.5 per cent at its March policy meeting on Tuesday.

REUTERS