Further signs of Australia’s strengthening labour market have emerged with another rise in the number of job advertisements placed in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet last month.
The ANZ Job Advertisement Series shows the total number of jobs advertised in March rose 1.8 per cent to an average of 162,692 per week in seasonally adjusted terms.
The result follows a 19.1 per cent surge in job ads in February.
A 2 per cent rise in internet job ads helped off-set a 1 per cent fall in newspaper job ads last month.
Total job ads are now 29.9 per cent above their cyclical low point in July last year, however they are still 41.6 per cent below the record high reached in April 2008.
ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan says although the growth was fairly subdued in March the result is encouraging.
“Having a modest increase after a big increase really reinforces that strong trend we’re seeing in job advertising,” he said.
“The continuation in job ads growth suggests labour demand is strengthening in early 2010 and confirms the rapid improvement in economic conditions in Australia over the past six months.
“This steady increase in labour demand is already translating into solid employment growth and reduced unemployment, even during the current period of relatively strong population and labour force growth,” Mr Hogan added.
He says official employment figures due for release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday are expected to show another rise in total employment.
“Following last month’s correction in hours worked, we expect labour demand to translate into jobs growth of around 12,000 this month.”
Mr Hogan says this year will be characterised by ongoing employment growth, however the pace of that expansion is likely to vary.
“Growth is likely to be slower than in the jobs boom seen over the past six months, but the ANZ job ads surveys continue to improve, business investment and construction are regrouping, and business sentiment and expectations remain relatively strong,” he said.