[SYDNEY] Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet rose for a fourth straight month in August to hit a 19-month high, pointing to a gradual recovery in labour demand.
A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements rose 0.9 per cent to 137,087 per week on average in September. That was the highest average since February last year.
August ads were revised up to show an increase of 1.6 percent while ads were 7.9 per cent higher than in September last year.
Ads on the internet rose 1.1 per cent in September, while those in newspapers dropped 3.5 per cent. "The gradual improvement in ANZ Job Ads is an encouraging sign that labour demand is solidifying," said ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan. "Other leading indicators of labour demand such as business conditions, profitability and capacity utilisation also point to some trend improvement." Official employment figures for September are due on Thursday and analysts look for a fall of around 30,000 as payback for a huge increase of 121,000 in August.
The latter was the largest rise on record and led analysts to suspect there was some statistical noise in the numbers which exaggerated the outcome.
The jobless rate has also been unusually volatile, spiking to a decade-high of 6.4 percent in July only to drop back to 6.1 per cent in August. "We expect the unemployment rate to stabilise at just above 6 per cent in the next few quarters before decreasing gradually from there," said Mr Hogan.
The ANZ job ads survey's correlation with employment has weakened somewhat over the last couple of years, in part due to firms using other methods of reaching job seekers such as social media. - Reuters