Australian job ads plateau for the first time in 7 months

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Australian job ads held steady in September, marking the first time in seven months that an increase wasn’t reported.

According to ANZ, 180,700 ads were placed on Seek and the Department of Employment’s Australian JobSearch site last month in seasonally adjusted terms, leaving them up 12.5% on a year earlier.

“Some moderation in job ads is not too surprising after a solid six month run,” said Felicity Emmett, senior economist at ANZ.

“In trend terms job ads continue to rise, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Similarly, employment has grown solidly for the past 11 months, catching up to and in some cases even overshooting forward labour market indicators.”

While advertisements in the ANZ series failed to increase for the first time since February this year, Emmett says that solid trading conditions for Australian businesses, as seen in the monthly National Australia Bank survey, suggests that labour market strength is likely to continue for some time yet.

“The RBA has noted the positive developments in the labour market this year, in particular the strength in full-time employment,” she says.

“The recent decline in the underemployment rate will also provide greater confidence that the labour market is tightening, supporting the RBA’s view that a pick-up in wage growth will eventually follow.”

As seen in the chart below from ANZ, the moderation in job advertisements last month is hardly a reason for concern, at least not yet.

They’ve grown strongly over the past three years, providing a reliable lead indicator for employment growth this year.

Source: ANZ

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release Australia’s September jobs report on Thursday, October 19.

According to the ABS’ most recent Australian labour market report, employment surged by 54,200 in August to 12.269 million, leaving it at the highest level on record.

That took total employment growth since the start of March to 250,800, the largest six-month increase since July 2000. At 11, the run of consecutive monthly employment increases is also the longest seen in over six years.

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