Here's another sign that Australia's labour market is strengthening

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There was further evidence of a modest strengthening in Australia’s labour market yesterday with the number of job vacancies jumping by 7.6% to 163,500 in the three months to August in non-seasonally adjusted terms.

The gain, up 10.2% on the levels of a year earlier, left the number of vacancies at the highest level seen since November 2012.

The trend series, which the ABS suggests offers the best indication on the underlying trend in job vacancies, rose by 2.2% over the quarter, leaving the annual growth rate at 8.5% – still impressive numbers.

Reflective of recent strengthening across the nation’s services sector, the composition of each state and territory economy, New South Wales and Victoria registered the largest number of vacancies at 58,100 and 38,900 respectively, a reflection of the fact that they’re the two biggest populations.

In New South Wales vacancies hit the highest level on record, and in Victoria they jumped to levels last seen in February 2012.

While the most populous states saw job vacancies rise, there were mixed performances across other states and territories. Interestingly, Western Australia registered the largest quarterly increase in vacancies – up 6,100 – despite weaker economic conditions as a result of the winding down of the mining capital expenditure boom.

Vacancies fell fractionally Queensland and the Northern Territory, but rose in South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

Australian employment data for September will be released on Thursday next week. Although volatile, given the underlying trend in most labour market series, there’s clearly a case building for signs of further strengthening emerging in the months ahead.

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