This one chart shows how bad the Australian job market is right now, with the number of advertised positions halving in April

Job ads are running dry in Australia. (Daniel Karmann/dpa)

There are now more than 1.3 million unemployed Australians, with scarcely a job advertisement between them.

It’s the unfortunate position the country finds itself in, with the number of job advertisements shrinking by far and away the biggest margin on record last month according to ANZ figures.

“ANZ job advertisements more than halved – down by 53.1% – in April which was almost five times as large as the previous record fall during the GFC and shows the impact from the shutdown of non-essential businesses,” AMP Capital senior economist Diana Mousina said in a note issued to Business Insider Australia.

“This is in line with the timely Seek job advertisements which were down more than 60% over April.”

A picture, they say, paints a thousand words. Let this chart illustrate the true scale of the collapse in job ads:

Bad bad not good.

While the fall seen during 2008 and 2009 is giant, it pales in comparison to the steepness of this one. It shows more job ads were wiped in a single month during the government lockdown, then over the better part of a year during the GFC. For direct comparison, January 2009 was the previous record-holder, with a fall of 11.13%.

The other striking fact demonstrated in the chart is the height at which the fall took place. Even after a gigantic fall, pre-GFC job ads were at a level not seen since, with roughly 250,000 monthly ads appearing before the global recession hit. Over the last year, the average has been sitting at around 150,000, or around 60% of that peak. The seasonally adjusted figure means closer to 100,000 or three-quarters of that figure have disappeared basically overnight.

It’s just another reminder the economic crisis Australia faces far surpasses what it underwent a decade ago. Back then, the unemployment rate didn’t top 6%.

With it forecast to hit 10% this time around and 1.3 million Australians already on JobSeeker payments, you’d have to go a long way back in the history books to find a worse time to be a job hunter.

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