Job ads data suggest labour market improvement

by Julia Corderoy09 Sep 2014
Job advertisements crept up 1.5% in August, suggesting conditions in the labour market may be on the mend.

According to the latest ANZ Job Advertisement Series, job advertisements are up 8% from August last year. This comes as encouraging news after official figures released last month saw the unemployment rate hit a decade high of 6.4% in July.

ANZ Chief Economist Warren Hogan said the improvement is in line with the recent pick up in business confidence and consumer sentiment.

“Recent trends in business confidence and capacity utilisation suggest a relatively solid pick up in the pre-conditions for hiring, while business surveys also show that the labour market looks a little tighter lately. Moreover, there has been a drop in the number of unemployment benefits recipients and consumers’ unemployment expectations have improved. All of these developments are consistent with a very gradual turnaround in conditions in the labour market,” he said.

However, Hogan maintains a conservative view of employment for the near future.  

“We envisage the unemployment rate remaining a touch above 6% for a few quarters and only very gradually falling from there. On the one hand, strengthening labour demand in some labour intensive industries, such as in construction, health and retail, is an encouraging sign. However, the effect on employment from the wind back in mining investment is likely to have further to run, which will be a hindrance to a strong improvement in the unemployment rate over the next year or so,” he said.