Job ads at recession level
January 12, 2009 – 11:30AM
The number of jobs advertised dropped by nearly a third last year, putting the number of new positions added by businesses at “recession levels.”
The ANZ job advertisement survey showed that for the year to December the total number of job ads fell 30%.
For the month, they slumped 9.7%, the lowest since 1999, according to data from Bloomberg.
The increasingly weak reading on newspaper and online figures point to a higher unemployment rate this year as expected drops in consumer demand, business confidence and business activity take their toll. The December plunge is the eighth consecutive contraction of the gauge.
Last month there were an average of 190,661 job ads in print and online per week, down from an average of 211,199 in November. Job ads in trend terms edged down 5% in December, or 23.4% for the year.
“The rate of decline in job advertising intensified in the month of December, providing further evidence that the demand for new labour across the Australian economy is now at recession levels,” ANZ head of Australian economics Warren Hogan said in a statement.
Newspaper job advertising plummeted 13.9% in December to an average of about 10,100 a week, dragging down annual growth in the reading by more than half, Mr Hogan said.
Worst since 1975
“This is the weakest annual rate of growth in newspaper job advertising since the survey began in 1975, including both the economic recessions experienced in 1982 and 1991,” said Mr Hogan.
Internet job ads were off by 9.5% in December to an average of 180,500 per week, 28.1% lower than a year ago.
Analysts will get a more accurate picture of the job market when December unemployment figures are released on Thursday.
Economists foresee the jobless rate rising to 4.5% with 20,000 jobs lost, up from 4.4% as a slackening pace of business triggers more positions to be trimmed.