ANZ Job ads: flat end to the year
For December, job ads’ growth was flat, on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, growth accelerated to 4.1% (vs 2.1% in November).
In trend terms, job ads fell by 0.1% m/m for the seventh consecutive month. Job ads grew 1.5% y/y to December in trend terms (down from 2.6% y/y in November).
ANZ’s Head of Australian Economics, David Plank, commented:
“ANZ Australian Job Ads showed very little in the way of direction for most of 2018. The flat result for December underlines this pattern. This means that from double digit growth in 2017, the annual growth of job ads progressively slipped through the year. Unless job ads jump by 1.3% or more in January, the annual rate of change in job ads will slip into negative territory for the first time since March-April 2014. This need not point to a drop in employment, however. The level of job ads is sufficiently high for ongoing employment growth even if they remain flat (Figure 4 below).
But job ads have been underestimating employment growth and overestimating unemployment for some time (Figures 4 and 1). If we combine it with other indicators things look more positive, with ANZ’s Labour Market Indicator still pointing to a lower unemployment rate (Figure 3). We would be more confident in this outlook if job ads ended its downtrend.”