A surge in job advertisements has supported the Reserve Bank’s decision to raise the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.25 per cent.
According to the ANZ Job Advertisements Series, the total number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet grew by 1.8 per cent in March, to an average of 162,692 per week.
Although only a small increase in itself, ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the latest results provided the first annual growth since July 2008.
Total job ads are now 29.9 per cent above their cyclical trough in July 2009, but remain 41.6 per cent below the all-time peak reached in April 2008.
“This month’s continuation in job ads growth suggests labour demand is strengthening in early 2010 and confirms the rapid improvement in economic conditions in Australia over the past six months,” Mr Hogan said.
“This steady increase in labour demand is already translating into solid employment growth and reduced unemployment, even during the current period of relatively strong population and labour force growth.”
Mr Hogan said he expects the unemployment rate, which is currently sitting at 5.3 per cent, to ease throughout the rest of 2010 and stabilise around 5 per cent or lower over the year ahead.