DESPITE a 2.5 per cent increase in April, the upward trend of employment advertising fell flat last month according to the latest figures from ANZ.
Research from the bank shows a slight increase in job ads at 0.4 per cent in May, which heralds the 19th consecutive month of positive growth. However the rate has been slowing since late last year.
Ads have reached the highest level since September 2012, with a growth rate of 15.3 per cent year on year.
In trend terms, the growth is tapering off on a gradual slowdown from 1.3 per cent in October last year.
ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan says there has been slow decline in advertising the past few months, against the peak experienced in April.
"This slightly weaker result is in line with relatively soft confidence across both the household and business sectors," Hogan says.
"Although consumer confidence in economic conditions has improved on the back of the Commonwealth Budget, it remains below long-term average levels, weighed down by elevated unemployment and a soft labour market.
"Businesses also remain cautious, with soft growth in consumer demand and spare capacity impacting on confidence, hiring intentions and investment plans.
A boost in internet job advertising was offset by weakness in newspaper advertising, which fell 4.3 per cent in May.
Hogan says any improvement in business confidence will need to be sustained over the long-term to flow through to employment conditions.
"Going forward, these labour market outcomes tend to support our expectation of below-trend economic growth through 2015," he says.
"We continue to expect that the RBA will keep the cash rate on hold for an extended period, as it waits to see to what extent the two previous rate cuts are able to stimulate activity."
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