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The latest figures from Australia-based online recruitment firm SEEK (SEK: ASX) show that, in December 2013, the number of new job adverts in Australia fell by -1.6%, month-on-month. However, the ratio of new job adverts placed with SEEK to the number of applications for those jobs, rose by +0.9%, according to the SEEK Employment Index (SEI).
SEEK Managing Director Joe Powell commented: “We often see a slowdown during December in new job ad volume as businesses approach the holiday season. The rise in SEI points to new job ads rising more rapidly than applications for those jobs, characteristic of the time of year as jobseekers tend to turn their attention to season festivities and holiday planning and put ‘job hunting’ as a priority for the New Year.”
Figures varied across the states during December with Queensland the only state to post new job advert growth (+1.8%). New South Wales remained relatively stable with a drop of just - 0.2%. South Australia declined -10%, along with Victoria -4.3% and Western Australia -2.4%.
Mr Powell continued: “Many factors have impacted the Australian economy in the past month; among those factors influencing sentiment was the announcement of General Motors that it would cease production in South Australia and Victoria. In addition were reports of rising consumer and housing activity, further evidence of a downturn in the mining investment, a stronger tone of the international economy and an announcement by the Federal Government that major cuts in federal payments would be necessary in 2014. The impact to each state has been varied and is reflected in the new job ad data for December”.
“Both indicators declined in Victoria and South Australia in December partly in response to a sharp jump in November 2013. Victorian new job ads in December were +4% higher than three months earlier which suggests that an underlying improvement continues to be in place masked by month-to-month volatility,” he concluded.
The unemployment rate in Australia in December increased slightly to 5.8%, according to official statistics released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.