Australian job advertisements are at a 4-year high

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Australian job advertisements are increasing again, proving some good news on the outlook for job growth in the months ahead.

The number of jobs advertised in May rose by 0.5% to 158,810 in June following seasonal adjustments, according to the ANZ. The increase, following a spectacular 2.2% jump in May, left total advertisements up 8% on the levels of a year earlier.

By category, all of the strength was concentrated in online advertisements, completely mitigating persistent weakness in newspaper postings.

Online advertisements rose by 0.6% to 156,767, leaving them up 8.8% from May 2015. Newspapers postings, by comparison, fell off a cliff, slumping by a further 5.3%, taking the decline from a year earlier to 29.8%.

The table below, supplied by ANZ, breaks down the jobs survey by category.

Felicity Emmett, head of Australian economics at ANZ, believes that the result bodes well for hiring levels in the months ahead.

“Some moderation in job ads growth is to be expected and could partly reflect some uncertainty by firms around the near-term outlook,” said Emmett.

“That said, the strength in labour demand over the past two months is consistent with robust business conditions and solid momentum in the domestic economy. This should support a healthy pace of employment growth in the near term.”

However, whether emanating from home or abroad, Emmett warns that increased uncertainty over the economic outlook could easily see this trend reverse in the second half of the year.

“Uncertainties around the economy are mounting – both offshore from the Brexit vote and domestically from the unresolved federal election outcome – and that may pose some downside risks to the employment outlook later in the year,” says Emmett.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release updated employment figures for June on July 14.

As a lagging indicator on the state of the domestic economy, markets will be paying close attention to upcoming consumer and business confidence surveys to garner insight as to what impact, if any, the election and Brexit outcome have had on overall confidence levels.

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