Mixed bag: Job ads up in print, down online


The number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet fell by 6.3 percent in January to a weekly average of 180,349

The number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet fell by 6.3 percent in January to a weekly average of 180,349, according to the ANZ Job Advertisements Series released today.

Total job ads for the month were 33.7 percent lower than 12 months earlier. In trend terms, the total number of job ads fell by 6 percent to be 30.3 percent lower than 12 months earlier.

The number of job ads in major metropolitan newspapers increased by 12.3 percent in January to an average of 11,391 per week. This follows a 13.5 percent drop in December. Newspaper advertisements are now 40.7 percent lower than in January 2008.

In trend terms, the number of newspaper job ads fell by 6 percent in January to be 45.7 percent lower than a year ago.

The rise in newspaper job ads in January was driven by increases in most states and territories. The largest rises in percentage terms were in the ACT (27.1 percent), South Australia (15.1 percent), New South Wales (13.8 percent), Victoria (13 percent) and Western Australia (12.1 percent). There was also a significant rise in Queensland (7.8 percent). Tasmania (-1.4 percent) and the Northern Territory (-1.2 percent) were the only two states/territories to experience a fall.

Conversely, the number of internet job ads fell by 7.3 percent to average 168,959 per week, and were 33.2 percent lower than 12 months earlier.

In trend terms, internet job ads fell by 6 percent in January to be 29.1 percent lower than in January 2008.

ANZ Head of Australian Economics Warren Hogan says: "Job advertising fell again in January, marking the ninth consecutive monthly decline. All of the weakness was due to a large fall in internet ads, which fell 7.3 percent in the month. A bright note in the report, however, was a strong bounce in seasonally adjusted newspaper job ads in January.

"Although internet job ads remain weak, we are encouraged by the jump in newspaper advertising. Although by no means a strong signal that the worst is over for job advertising, it does provide some tentative evidence that the Government’s first fiscal stimulus package may be having a positive impact on the labour market in early 2009.

"Despite the 12.3 percent rise in January, newspaper ads are still 40.8 percent below year ago levels. We will need to monitor the underlying trend in advertising over the months ahead to see if the improvement in January continues.

"Overall job advertising remains weak and is consistent with rising trend for unemployment over the year ahead. ANZ expects unemployment to breach 6 percent in 2009 before eventually peaking at around 7 percent in 2010.

"ANZ expects that the extraordinary amount of monetary and fiscal stimulus running through the Australian economy over the first half of 2009 will have the effect of supporting positive economic growth. Whether this short-term boost to growth proves to be more resilient and prevents a renewed slowing in growth later in the year will in no small part be determined by the extent to which stronger spending supports employment growth."

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