ANZ’s head of Australian Economics, David Plank, commented:
“The labour market has been a key source of strength for the Australian economy over the past year, with the strong gain in jobs and declining unemployment rate providing a material offset to the impact of lower house prices. The year ahead looks to be more challenging on the employment front, with ANZ’s Australian Job Ads series declining for the fourth month in a row.
After a strong start to 2018, job ads have been on a virtually uninterrupted downtrend with only three monthly gains over the past 12 months. The 4.3% annual decline is the largest since February 2014. Still, even with this decline the level of ANZ Job Ads is still consistent with ongoing employment growth. And other data, such as the ABS job vacancies series, are more positive. If we
combine a bunch of these data we get the ANZ Labour Market Indicator, which points to a stable rather than rising unemployment rate even in the face of weaker employment growth. This provides some comfort for the outlook, though we are conscious that the downside risks are rising.”