Job ads growth weakens

Jobs growth is slowing and is not expected to get any better in the coming months, weighed down by weaker consumer and business confidence.


The number of job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers was unchanged in May compared to April, but rose 14.1 per cent for the 12 months to May, seasonally adjusted figures from ANZ show.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the rate of growth has been slowing since late 2014.

“Although consumer confidence in economic conditions has improved on the back of the Commonwealth budget, it remains below long-term average levels, weighed down by elevated unemployment and a soft labour market,” he said.

“Businesses also remain cautious, with soft growth in consumer demand and spare capacity impacting on confidence, hiring intentions and investment plan.”

Mr Hogan expects employment growth to remain subdued because the economy will fail to pick up before the end of the year.

“We continue to expect that the Reserve Bank will keep the cash rate on hold for an extended period, as it waits to see to what extent the two previous rate cuts are able to stimulate activity,” he said.

The expectation of weak employment growth is backed up by a survey by employment firm Manpower, which found that 76 per cent of employers are not planning to increase the size of their workforce in the next three months.

That was up seven per cent, compared to hiring prospects for the June quarter.

Hiring intentions were strongest in the Northern Territory and Queensland and weakest in the mining state of Western Australia.

Employers in the finance, insurance and real estate industries were most likely to hire but there was a decline in hiring intentions for the mining and construction industries.