[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet slipped in January taking annual growth into negative territory for the first time since 2015, a survey showed on Monday.
Figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements fell 1.7 per cent in January, from December when they dipped 0.7 per cent.
Ads averaged 171,392 a week, 3.7 per cent lower than in January last year. That was the first annual drop since April 2015.
"The decline in job ads is consistent with a range of other data suggesting the economy lost momentum in the second half of 2018," said ANZ's Head of Australian economics David Plank.
"It is not surprising that this loss of momentum is translating into weaker job ads. This should show up in actual hiring in due course, though employment does lag other parts of the economy."
Australia's labour market tightened steadily through 2018 with the unemployment rate hitting a 6-1/2 year trough of 5 per cent in December.
While there is still spare capacity left in the market, there are questions over whether the momentum of the last two years can continue.