Job advertisements fell 1.9% m/m in December following a 1.6% rise in the previous month. Annual growth in job ads dropped to 3.7% y/y, down from 6.0% y/y in November.
In trend terms, job ads rose 0.3% m/m in November, a touch lower than the 0.4% rise in the previous month. Annual growth remained stable at 4.7% y/y in the month of December, but has fallen sharply from an average of 9.4% y/y over Q1 2016.
ANZ SENIOR ECONOMIST JO MASTERS COMMENTED:
“After four consecutive monthly rises, ANZ job ads fell sharply in December, the first fall since July 2016. This weakness is consistent with softer business conditions and corporate profitability.
While a disappointing outcome, we see the labour market as losing some of its previously strong momentum not stalling. Indeed, ANZ job ads rose by 0.5% over Q4 and in trend terms continue to rise.
While the labour market has clearly lost some momentum, business and consumer confidence remain elevated, capacity utilisation appears to be on the rise, and retail sales have strengthened recently. As such, we continue to expect conditions in the labour market to support an ongoing, albeit gradual, decline in the unemployment rate this year.”
FIGURE 1. JOB ADVERTISEMENTS FALL IN DECEMBER