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Australia job vacancies surge to record high in August quarter

[SYDNEY] Job vacancies in Australia surged to their highest on record in the August quarter, auguring well for continued strong growth in hiring.

Total job vacancies jumped 6 percent to 203,700 seasonally adjusted in the June-August quarter, from an upwardly revised 192,200 in the three months to May, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

That was the first time vacancies topped 200,000 since the series began in 1979. Vacancies were also a hefty 15.4 per cent higher than in the same period of 2016.

Vacancies in the private sector climbed 6.1 per cent to 183,7000, again the highest on record. That was up 15.3 per cent on the August quarter of last year.

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Public sector vacancies rose 5.3 per cent from the previous quarter to 20,000, the highest since 1989.

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 supports official figures for employment which have shown a surge in hiring so far this year.

REUTERS