ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch, commented:
The solid rebound in ANZ Job Ads in June and July – which saw more than half the pandemic losses recovered – did not continue into August, with just a 1.6% m/m rise.
With Victoria accounting for more than 26% of the nation’s pre-pandemic employment, the Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and Stage 3 in regional Victoria have undoubtedly put the brakes on. Predictably, new SEEK job ads in Victoria have fallen; but SEEK also notes that the improvement in New South Wales ads has been sluggish compared with other parts of the country. This is consistent with weekly payroll data, which show Victorian jobs falling and New South Wales jobs coming to a standstill.
We expect outright falls in national employment in August and September. Q4 is also looking worrying, given the amount of fiscal support to workers, businesses and households scheduled to be withdrawn, particularly with Victoria only gradually emerging from lockdowns. Over the longer-term, we think that governments’ key focus for the economic recovery will be employment growth. This will require tens of billions of dollars of additional spending.