Here's further proof Australia's job market is improving

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The number of Australian job ads continued to push higher last month with the ANZ reporting a 0.4% increase to 154,358. The modest gain, coming on the back of a 3.8% surge in September, left total advertisements up 12.1% from the levels of a year earlier.

Online postings rose 0.3% to 151,299, leaving the annual increase at 12.9%. Newspaper ads, now a miniscule component compared to online, increased by 3.0% to 3,059. Despite the large monthly bounce, they have fallen 15.3% over the past 12 months.

According to Warren Hogan, chief economist at ANZ, while near-term labour market conditions are likely to remain “quite good”, they’re unlikely to remain that way in the first half of 2016.

“The improving trend in job advertising is good news. Despite some challenges, the economy overall is currently tracking along pretty well.

The parts of the economy least affected by the ongoing sharp decline in resources investment and commodity price weakness have strengthened, supported by the lower Australian dollar, low interest rates and strong property market activity. In particular, many services industries are experiencing relatively strong demand, and these industries are typically quite labour intensive.

We expect overall economic activity to remain reasonably solid over the next 12-18 months. In the near-term, labour market conditions should remain quite good, with some chance the unemployment rate could decline a little. But the strength of support to labour intensive sectors is likely to wane in the first half of 2016, resulting in a softening in jobs growth and no obvious inroads into unemployment. Our view remains that this will ultimately prove too uncomfortable for the RBA and a little more monetary policy support will be provided by mid-2016.”

Australia’s jobs report for October will be released on Thursday this week. Markets expect the economy to generate 15,000 jobs following a shock 5,100 decline in September. Unemployment is tipped to remain steady at 6.2%.

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