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Job market dives as interest rates impact hiring decisions

Those looking to change jobs should hold on a little longer, the Advantage Job Index suggests, with the job market taking a small dive last month.

Job Ads DownThree months of continuous growth was interrupted by a 1.74 percent decrease in advertised jobs in April, Advantage Professional found, after surveying 178,886 online Position Vacant ads during April. Industries that respond most quickly to consumer demand (Retail, Trades and Services, Transport) all exhibited declines, with Transport ads falling by 10.98 percent last month. Industries with a longer return time on hiring, including Human Resources, Engineering, IT, Financial Services and Banking boasted small increases in job ads, with Human Resources exhibiting the most growth (2.45 percent).

The news is worst for graduates yet to find work, for whom available positions decreased by 3.3 percent in April.

Western Australia bucked the trend, posting an increase in job ads of 2.66% last month, continuing to ride the resources boom. Nearly all Western Australian job sectors increased advertised positions, with increases of 20.63 percent in Financial Services and Banking and 17.54 percent in Hospitality.

The director of Advantage Professional, which has made monthly reports on the job index for over ten years, says the results are unsurprising.

“Interest rate hikes, the withdrawal of the stimulus package and uncertainties around the Henry Review and the Federal Budget have taken their toll”, Robert Olivier said.

“Employers appear to be taking a lets wait and see approach so the May/June indexes will be critical in determining if the drop in April is just a blip on the radar or it this is the beginning of a plateauing job market.”

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Jennifer Blake

Jennifer Blake

Jennifer Blake is a staff writer for <i>Dynamic Business</i> magazine. Fascinated with the power of media, she's previously worked for Sky News and <i>The Jakarta Globe</i>. In her time off, she's likely cooking up a storm, haunting vintage stores on King St, Newtown or trawling design blogs for things she can't afford.

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