Latest ANZ job ads survey shows 'a decent lift' in the number of advertisements; points to continuing improvement in job market

Job advertising "finally" showed a decent lift last month, according to the ANZ's monthly job ads survey.

In recent surveys the numbers of job ads have been flat, but in July the sum of newspaper and internet ads rose 3.5%.

ANZ senior economist Sharon Zollner said the job ads index was 4.5% higher than a year ago.

The growth reflected a 2.3% monthly increase in internet ads, further bolstered by an 11% lift in (much smaller) newspaper advertising. The level of internet ads is 5.9%.

"The labour market has been a disappointment in an otherwise increasingly broad-based economic expansion," Zollner said.

"Today’s result – if we can follow it up with successive monthly rises – offers the prospect of sustained job growth finally coming to the party."

The previous job ads survey had pointed toward a slight rise in unemployment numbers after a big fall (6.8% to 6.2%) in the March quarter. Survey enough, the June quarter figures showed a slight rise again to 6.4%

For a longer historical perspective, the ANZ calculates a “composite” weighted job ads series, which gives (more expensive) newspaper advertising a larger weight (3:1).

This composite measure rose 5.3% in July on a seasonally-adjusted basis after falling in the previous two months.

Zollner said the annual change in the 3-month average was holding steady at around zero.

"Given the unemployment rate averaged a touch over 7% in the middle quarters of 2012, this would on the face of it suggest that the unemployment rate will continue to rise from the current 6.4 % back up towards 7 percent.

"However, the unemployment rate has been so volatile lately that we prefer to focus on the thematic of an ongoing, but regrettably sluggish, labour market recovery." 

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