By Lucy Hughes Jones.
(Australian Associated Press)
Employer demand for staff is at a three-and-a-half year high, with more job gains tipped for the months ahead.
The number of job ads on the internet and in newspapers rose one per cent in January, retracing a 0.1 per cent decline in December.
Job ads were up 10.8 per cent on the same month a year ago, seasonally adjusted figures from ANZ show.
ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said there’d been a broad upswing in hiring intentions since early 2014.
“Of the 25 monthly readings since January 2014, only five have been a contraction,” he said.
CommSec chief economist Craig James says job ads are now at the highest level since July 2012.
“The job market continues to strengthen, underpinned by the low growth of labour costs and firm demand for workers across the services sector,” he said.
This makes future interest rate cuts less likely, he said.
Mr James said this latest lift in job ads will most likely be reflected in higher employment in the next five to six months.
ANZ’s Mr Hogan also expects further moderate employment gains in early 2016, which should be enough to keep the jobless rate stable.
But he warned that it’s unlikely the Australian economy will enjoy the same strong pace of jobs growth from last year.
“In 2015 total employment increased by 305,000, the second strongest year of job creation in the 21st century after 2006,” Mr Hogan said.
But mounting global economic and financial volatility and pressure on mining and manufacturing industries may weigh on businesses in 2016, he said.
“Domestically the federal election may add political and policy uncertainty,” he said.
Mr James said newspaper advertisements fell to the lowest level since records began in 1975.
“Clearly, the practice of advertising new positions in newspapers is in its death throes,” he said.