By Kate Southam
Australia has seen the largest boost to the number of jobs being advertised in two years.
According to ANZ’s monthly survey of newspaper and internet jobs the number of advertised roles rose by 6 per cent in January 2012 when compared to December 2011. Job ads were up 0.7 per cent when compared to January 2011 – the largest increase since February 2010.
Internet job ads were up 6.4 per cent in January compared to December and up 1.4 per cent when compared to January 2011.
Month on month, newspaper job ads fell 2.6 per cent after a 3.4 per cent increase in December 2011. Overall, newspaper advertising was 11.5 percent lower than in January 2011.
ANZ Head of Australian Economics and Property Research Ivan Colhoun said overall job ads rose “strongly” in January after a modest fall in December.
This “tentative” improvement in job ads was “very encouraging” but was being driven by an acceleration in mining investment particularly Queensland and the Northern Territory.
ANZ analysts explained that “elsewhere there were signs that the Australia Day holiday caused greater than usual restraint in newspaper advertising in the last two weeks of January, suggesting a less negative outcome than the headline result.”
Analysts also sounded a note of caution about reading too much into the positive but still early 2012 data.
“Even after seasonal adjustment, there was considerable volatility in the job ads data in December and January, as often happens at this time of year due to the large swings in advertising over the holiday period.
“This means emerging trends are more tentative than usual. However, the seasonally-adjusted number of newspaper job ads is 0.8 per cent higher between November and January. Internet job ads rose 5.6 per cent seasonally adjusted over this same period.
?In trend terms, total job ads rose by 0.5 per cent month on month in January to finish 2.6 per cent lower than a year ago.
ANZ expects unemployment to rise from the official Australian Bureau of Statistics rate in December of 5.2 per cent to 5.5 per cent or higher during this year. The bank describes such an increase as “modest”.
?In December 2011, total employment fell by 29,300 or 0.3 per cent month on month but 0.0 per cent year on year. ANZ analysts said the December result was mainly due to lower seasonal hiring of female part-time workers aged between 15 and 24 years, especially in NSW and Victoria. This could be due to lower seasonal demand from the retail and hospitality sectors.
Historically, such lower seasonal hirings have reversed the following month. As a result, ANZ expects a sharp bounce back in part-time employment in the January labour force data released on February 16.
For some of the newspapers surveyed, the ANZ Job Advertisements series counts the number of advertisement ‘bookings’. Each ‘booking’ may contain multiple advertisements. In addition, the ANZ series counts classified advertisements only, and does not include display advertisements.
CareerOne.com.au, February 6, 2012.