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Early indications show job decline easing

In 2013 the overall number of job advertisements declined by 9 per cent, suggesting that employers are hesitating to take on new staff.

The latest jobs ads index from ANZ shows that in December alone, job ads declined by 0.7 per cent.

In terms of where employers are choosing to advertise, the internet is typically seen as king – yet ads declined by 0.7 per cent.

Newspaper ads actually rose by 0.4 per cent, although overall represent just 5 per cent of total job ads according to the ANZ data.

ANZ economist Justin Fabo commented that behind the face of the data, there are elements of positive news.

“A number of different measures of job ads/vacancies have been broadly flat since mid 2013. This is consistent with the unemployment rate remaining relatively stable at around 5.75 per cent in the near term, a level it has been at since mid 2013,” he said in the report.

Fabo said that as the mining boom continues to ease, there are signs that employment in other sectors is picking up. This trend, he said, bodes well for the economy alongside the transition away from international investment in resources.

“Job ads in NSW, the most populous state and one less dependent on mining activity, have been trending modestly higher over the past six months,” he said.

“More broadly, retail sales growth and building approvals have strengthened, assisted by lower interest rates, higher asset prices and the lower Australian dollar,” Fabo said, adding that the scale and pace of mining job losses remains unpredictable.

“There remains considerable uncertainty surrounding the labour market outlook beyond this, given our expectation of a sharp decline in resources investment from mid-year,” he added.

The latest unemployment figures will be released by the Australian Bureau of later this week. Current forecasts show the unemployment rate is likely to remain at 5.8 per cent.

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