Australian job advertisements fell 2.0% in August, bringing the total number of advertised vacancies scarily close to the lowest level reached during the global financial crisis.
ANZ today reported the sixth consecutive monthly decline, following a 1.1% fall in July. Advertised job vacancies have fallen 19% since last August, ANZ found.
ANZ’s Australian chief economist Ivan Colhoun expects the August unemployment rate to remain at 5.7% when the ABS releases new data on Thursday.
“Trends in job advertising continue to point to a softening in the labour market,” he said. “Job ads and other economic indicators suggest little evidence of a pick-up in business confidence and hiring intentions.
“There are a number of factors that are likely to see overall business conditions remain at relatively subdued levels, including the forecast contraction in mining investment and the relatively high exchange rate.”
From ANZ’s report:
Colhoun noted however that there were also signs that some areas of the economy would improve, including an uptick in house prices, depreciation of the Australian dollar and the fact that job ads had fallen more slowly in August than previous months.
“With anecdotal evidence suggesting business and consumer sentiment have been weighed down by uncertainty surrounding the election campaign, there is potential for a pick-up in sentiment following the election but whether this will be sustained is a key question,” he said.
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