Job ad figures flat-lined in December, but will this lead to a job market slowdown?
The number of jobs advertised last month remained the same as November openings, according to the latest figures from ANZ Bank.
December job postings in print and online media stayed at an average of 175,428 listings per week for the second month in a row despite a 4.1% increase year over year.
But the number of vacancies being posted since November has shown “very little in the way of direction for most of 2018,” according to David Plank, head of Australian economics at ANZ.
“The flat result for December underlines this pattern,” he said. From double digit growth in 2017, the annual growth of job listings “progressively slipped through the year.”
“Unless job ads jump by 1.3% or more in January, the annual rate of change in job ads will slip into negative territory for the first time since March-April 2014,” he said.
The question is whether the flat-lining of job ads in December would also indicate an eventual slowdown in employment growth.
Not necessarily, according to Plank. “The level of job ads is sufficiently high for ongoing employment growth even if they remain flat,” he said.
“If we combine it with other indicators, things look more positive, with ANZ’s Labour Market Indicator still pointing to a lower unemployment rate,” he explained. “We would be more confident in this outlook if job ads ended its downtrend."