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Australia job vacancies hit 30-month high in February quarter

[SYDNEY] Job vacancies in Australia rose 0.8 per cent in the three months to February to hit their highest since late 2012, a moderately promising sign of improving demand for labour.

Thursday's data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed total job vacancies rose to 151,700 seasonally adjusted in the February quarter, from 150,500 in the three months to November.

That left vacancies up 6.3 percent on the February quarter of last year.

Vacancies in the private sector edged up 0.3 per cent in the quarter to 138,300 - again the highest reading in 30 months.

Public sector vacancies rose 5.6 percent, though at 13,300 they remain at low levels historically. Employment in the public sector had been hit by belt-tightening by both Federal and state governments.

Analysts value the vacancies series as it has proved a reliable leading indicator of labour demand and turning points in employment.


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