According to ANZ, job advertisements fell by 1.9 per cent month-on-month in December, following a 1.6 per cent rise in the previous month. The bank said annual growth in job ads dropped to 3.7 per cent year-on-year, down from 6.0 per cent year-on-year in November.
ANZ senior economist Jo Masters explained: “After four consecutive monthly rises, ANZ job ads (ANZ Australian Job Advertisements) fell sharply in December, the first fall since July 2016. This weakness is consistent with softer business conditions and corporate profitability.”
Ms Masters elaborated that despite this “disappointing” outcome, ANZ sees the labour market losing some of its previously strong momentum rather than stalling. She noted that ANZ job ads rose by 0.5 per cent over the fourth quarter and continues to rise in trend terms.
“While the labour market has clearly lost some momentum, business and consumer confidence remain elevated, capacity utilisation appears to be on the rise, and retail sales have strengthened recently,” Ms Masters said.
“As such, we continue to expect conditions in the labour market to support an ongoing, albeit gradual, decline in the unemployment rate this year.”