Decline in jobs ads indicate hiring slump

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The number of online job advertisements fell in December to the lowest level recorded since January 2010.

According to ANZ bank, the level of job advertising in Australia is 20% down on the most recent peak in February last year, and almost half the peak reached before the global financial crisis.

A key trend behind the figures is a slump in advertising for mining jobs in Queensland and Western Australia. “ANZ's view is that the recent sharp rise in iron ore prices will not see a commensurate rebound in job advertising in Western Australia as mining firms are expected to maintain a keen focus on cost reduction,” Justin Fabo, the bank's head of Australian corporate and commercial economics said. “Without a solid pick-up in the non-mining sectors as the contribution to overall growth from mining investment shrinks through 2013, ANZ’s view is that Australia's unemployment rate is set to drift higher to around 5.75%, from 5.2% currently, by mid to late this year,” Fabo also commented.

According to the monthly figures, job ads fell 3.8% last month, following on from a 2.8% decline in November. Curiously, the report also revealed that the decline in online job ads was significantly greater than the decline in newspaper ads during December. The number of online ads fell by 3.9%, whereas newspaper ads fell just 0.4%.

The latest ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) employment figures will be released on Thursday.

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