EMPLOYMENT advertising continued to decline last month, albeit at a slower pace of deterioration.
ANZ’s research shows job advertisements fell 0.3 per cent in January, the lowest rate since early 2012, and down about three per cent during the last six months.
The bank’s chief economist Ivan Colhoun says the stabilisation is promising, but he remains cautious as the holiday trading can affect seasonal adjustment.
“While none of the measures of job advertising or vacancies have shown a convincing upward trend at this stage, they are clearly not falling at the sharp pace seen earlier,” he says.
“This suggests the unemployment rate will remain for some time and may peak in the 5.75 to six per cent range.
“Recent developments in job advertising, as well as in other key economic indicators, suggest the outlook for the Australian economy is becoming more positive.
“Low interest rates are boosting the interest-rate sensitive sectors of the economy, with house prices and building approvals picking up strongly.
“There are now also signs that this is encouraging domestic retail spending, with retail sales growth strengthening notably since last July at an annualised pace of eight per cent.”
Colhoun says they are forecasting reduced resources investment mid-year, creating uncertainty in the labour market.
“After declining very sharply since early 2011, Department of Employment job vacancies data show that the deterioration in mining job ads has slowed considerably, and even improved in some areas, which could suggest some of the decline in labour demand associated with the imminent mining investment wind back may have already occurred.”
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