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Australia – Hiring “stabilises” as job ads rise

04 March 2013

The number of jobs advertised across Australia reached a five-month high last month, but analysts expect the unemployment rate to keep on rising. According to the latest ANZ Job Advertisements Series, job ads rose by a monthly rate of +3% in February, the highest since October 2012. This, the survey said, suggests “tentative signs” of a stabilisation in hiring.

But this figure is well below the levels seen a year ago and job ads have actually fallen by -16.5% in February compared to the prior year. The number of jobs advertised on the internet fell year-on-year by -15.8%. Newspaper ads were down a sharp -33.1%.

ANZ Head of Australian Economics & Property Research, Ivan Colhoun, said: “In early 2013, there are again early signs of some stabilisation in hiring intentions which come as concerns about the global backdrop, including the US ‘fiscal cliff’, have moderated.”

But he expects a “continued gradual rise in the unemployment rate to around 5¾% by mid-year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Australian firms are generally keeping a close eye on their bottom line, including labour costs. In addition, firms are already reporting that the degree of spare capacity in Australia’s labour market is greater than implied by the current 5.4% unemployment rate.”

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