There's more good news on Australia's labour market as job advertisements jump in November

Photo by Joosep Martinson / Getty Images for IAAF

Australia has received a double-dose of good news in relation to the labour market on Monday.

Following the revelation that wages in the services sector — the largest employer in the country — rose at the fastest pace in over a year in November, according to the latest performance of services index released by the Ai Group, we’ve now received news that job advertisements are also starting to accelerate.

According to the ANZ’s November job ads survey, total postings lifted 1.7% to 164,438 in November in seasonally adjusted terms.

The sharp increase, building on a 1% gain in October, saw annual growth in advertisements rise to 6.1%, up from 5.2% reported previously.

Felicity Emmett, head of Australian economics at ANZ, called the result “quite encouraging”, particularly in light of recent softness in hiring reported in the ABS’ official labour force statistics.

“It is consistent with our view that although the pace of improvement in the labour market has slowed, conditions remain supportive of ongoing recovery,” she said.

Despite the recent improvement in job listings, Emmett believes that labour market conditions and weak wage growth will be a key topic of discussion at this Tuesday’s RBA board meeting.

“The RBA has cited the labour market as a key risk to the economic outlook, reflecting concern over the degree of spare capacity given the high rate of underemployment,” she says.

“This spare capacity has the potential to weigh on wage growth and jeopardise the timing of the return of underlying inflation into the 2-3% target band next year.”

The ANZ does not disclose the breakdown between full time and part time job advertisements.

According to the ABS, part-time employment increased by 116,300, or 3.72%, in the year to October 2016. At the other end of the spectrum, full-time employment fell by 75,900, or 0.43%, over the same period.

In absolute terms, employment increased by 102,200 over the same period, the slowest pace seen in two years.

The ABS will release Australia’s November jobs report on Thursday, December 15. It will also include details on labour market underemployment, an area that the RBA has been honing in on in recent policy statements.

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