ANZ Job advertisements rose 0.3% m/m in March in seasonally adjusted terms, partially reversing the 0.8% fall in the previous month. Annual growth in job ads edged up to 7.0% from 6.9% in February.
Trend growth in job ads eased somewhat to 0.4% m/m in March after averaging 0.6% m/m growth over the last eight months.
The annual trend rate firmed up in March and now stands at 6.8% y/y. Annual growth in Q1 2017 averaged 6.5% compared to 5.3% the previous quarter.
ANZ HEAD OF AUSTRALIAN ECONOMICS DAVID PLANK COMMENTED:
“It is encouraging to see an improvement in job ads in March, albeit modest, especially given the disappointing jobs report in February. While somewhat at odds with recent employment data, the improvement in job ads is consistent with other forward indicators such as our Labour Market Conditions Index and solid business conditions. As such, we continue to expect a gradual improvement in labour market conditions through 2017.
The labour market remains a key variable for the inflation and spending outlook. In recent times, persistently low inflation and a high degree of spare capacity have weighed on labour incomes. If weak income growth persists it may have implications for consumer spending given the already high levels of household debt and the rapid decrease in the household savings rate over the past two years. More recently, we note that our measure of households’ confidence in their future finances has fallen to its long term average. This could have implications for consumer spending, especially if income growth continues to be weak.”
FIGURE 1. JOB ADVERTISEMENTS EDGE UP 0.3%