SYDNEY, March 6 Australian job advertisements
dipped in February but only backtracked a little on the hefty
gain enjoyed in January, leaving annual growth in ads at healthy
levels, a survey showed on Monday.
A monthly survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
showed total job advertisements eased 0.7 percent in
February, from January when they jumped 3.9 percent.
Ads were still 6.9 percent higher than in February last
year. ANZ no longer provides a breakdown between internet job
ads and those in newspapers, as the latter are now a tiny share
of total ads.
"Some moderation in job ads is not unexpected given the
strong January result and may reflect the tricky nature of
seasonal adjustment at this time of the year," said ANZ head of
Australian economics, David Plank.
"Looking ahead, strength in business conditions, firms'
profitability and an increase in capacity utilisation all point
to an improvement in labour market conditions in our view," he
added. "Overall, we expect the unemployment rate to slowly edge
downward through 2017."
The official jobless rate remains relatively low at 5.7
percent, though employment growth slowed last year and hiring
was skewed toward part-time positions.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cited a rise in
unemployment as one of the few developments that could make it
consider a further cut in interest rates.
The central bank holds its March policy meeting on Tuesday
and is considered certain to keep rates at 1.5 percent, where
they have been since last August.
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)