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Jobs and job ads continue to grow

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Over 30 000 new full-time jobs have been gained in March, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. This represents the largest monthly increase in jobs since November, although part-time positions decreased by 10 600 – leaving a net increase in jobs of 19 600. Unemployment remained steady at 5.3 per cent.

The number of job ads is also continuing to rise, with March showing a 1.8 per cent increase in the total number of job advertisements on the Internet and in newspapers, as reported in the latest ANZ Job Advertisements Series. This amounts to an average of 162 692 job ads per week (seasonally adjusted) – a figure which is 8 per cent higher than this time last year.

Following a 19.1 per cent surge in job ads in February, total job ads are now 29.9 per cent above the cyclical low point of July 2009. This is 41.6 per cent below the all-time high reached in April 2008 but still represents the first month of positive annual trend growth since August 2008.

Newspaper job ads fell by one per cent between February and March, but are still 20.1 per cent higher than last March. The number of Internet job ads, meanwhile, increased by two per cent in March, adding to the 19.6 per cent gains seen in February.

All states except Queensland are now showing good growth compared to the same time last year.

ANZ Chief Economist Warren Hogan says that these latest figures demonstrate a strengthening labour market and confirmation of Australia’s improved economic conditions as seen over the past six months.

‘This steady increase in labour demand is already translating into solid employment growth and reduced unemployment, even during the current period of relatively strong population and labour force growth.’

Hogan foresees further employment growth throughout 2010, though he anticipates that the pace of growth will vary and may slow down relative to the rapid acceleration seen in the last six months. Still, the outlook is encouraging.

‘The ANZ (and other) job ads surveys continue to improve, business investment and construction are regrouping, and business sentiment and expectations remain relatively strong,’ says Hogan.

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