Online job advertisements in Australia keep on falling

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  • Australian online job ads continue to fall.
  • Total online advertisements are now almost unchanged from a year ago. In early 2018, they had been increasing at an annual rate of more than 10%.
  • In the past, declining job ads has usually coincided with a lift in Australian unemployment. That’s not happened on this occasion — yet.
  • Australia’s official jobs report for November will be released on Thursday.

  • Australian online job ads continue to fall, creating doubt about the pace of hiring in the early pasts of 2019.

    According to the Australian Government’s Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), online advertisements fell by 0.1% to 180,500 in November.

    The IVI has now declined or held steady for eight consecutive months, seeing growth in openings over the past 12 months slow to just 0.4%. Earlier this year, vacancies were growing at an annual pace of over 11%.

    The IVI is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch during a particular month.

    The government says it does not reflect the total number of job openings in the labour market as it does not include jobs advertised through other online job boards, employer websites, word of mouth, in newspapers, and advertisements in shop windows.

    It also does not specify whether vacancies are for full-time, part-time or casual workers.

    As seen in the chart below, the IVI has typically led changes in Australia’s unemployment rate. However, that’s not currently the case with unemployment recently falling to a six-year low despite continued declines in online advertisements.

    Department of Jobs and Small Business

    Earlier this year, RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle suggested the disconnect could reflect a switch in the way that employers and employees were connecting, pointing to the increased use of platforms such as LinkedIn and internal job seeker databases operated by firms.

    While they, like jobs websites, have been around for quite a while, it’s clear from recent Australian jobs data that hiring is continuing to hum along at a decent clip.

    In the latest IVI survey, the government said job advertisements rose in three of the eight occupational groups over the year with the strongest gain recorded for professional workers. At the other end of the spectrum, the largest decrease was seen in demand for labourers and sales workers, two of the largest employing sectors in the country.

    Department of Jobs and Small Business

    By state and territory, advertisements fell in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory from a year earlier, largely offsetting increases in all other locations, including a mammoth 22.5% lift in Tasmania.

    Department of Jobs and Small Business

    Australia’s November jobs report will be released on Thursday, December 20.

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