Job ads hit record low as unemployment set to rise

By: Graham Gardiner

Job ads on the internet and in newspapers fell by 8.5 percent in March, taking the annual slump to 44.6

Job ads on the internet and in newspapers fell by 8.5 percent in March, taking the annual slump to 44.6 percent, according to the ANZ Job Advertisements Series released this week.

ANZ reveals the number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet plummeted to 147,804 per week during March.

The total number of ads throughout the month was 44.6 percent lower than 12 months earlier, and is consistent with rising unemployment.

Queensland experienced a 7.5 percent decrease in the number of newspaper job advertisements, the third-highest in the country.

Internet job advertisements fell by 8.6 percent, equating to139,846 less opportunities for online job-seekers every week.

This result is the weakest since records began in 2000, having fallen dramatically over 11 consecutive months.

ANZ’s head of Australian economics, Warren Hogan, says the negative 44 percent growth in internet jobs foretells a worrying time for the unemployed.

"For us, the sustained decline in internet advertising confirms the signals evident in the newspaper series for some time now," he says.

"That is, sharply falling ANZ job ads is consistent with an extended period of labour market weakness that is likely to see the unemployment rate heading higher throughout 2009 and 2010."

With unemployment weakening under the pressures of the global financial crisis, Hogan says ANZ is having to adjust its predictions.

"ANZ Economics and Markets Research has revised our Australian growth forecasts and now expect the economy to contract by 1 percent in 2009 following a further downward revision to our forecasts for non-residential construction," he says.

"As a result of these changes to our growth forecast and consistent with the latest ANZ Job Ads results we now expect the unemployment rate to exceed 8 percent next year."

This week the Australian Bureau of Statistics will report the official employment numbers for March.
ANZ expects the unemployment rate to be pushed to a new four-and-a-half-year high of 5.5 percent

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