(Australian Associated Press)
The number of jobs advertised in Australia was flat in March, after easing slightly in February, but are higher than they were a year ago.
The latest ANZ survey of job ads shows 177,084 positions were advertised in March, an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to a year ago.
In trend terms, job ads rose 0.8 per cent on a month for month basis, edging down from a 0.9 per cent rise in the previous month, while the annual trend rate slowed from 12.2 per cent in February to 11.8 per cent in the past month.
ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said despite advertisements easing slightly over the past two months, January’s strong result – where ads grew 6.3 per cent for the month – had helped lift jobs ads up 4.4 per cent for the first quarter.
He said the level of job advertisements is consistent with continued strength in employment growth, however, he expects some slowdown in the pace at which jobs are added.
Mr Plank said strengthening business conditions recorded in February suggests the unemployment rate will slowly grind lower through the year.
“The recent uptick in the unemployment and underemployment rate, however, shows that spare capacity is reducing only gradually indicating that wage growth is likely to remain muted for some time yet.”
The unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent in February, up from January’s 5.5 per cent, and slightly above market expectations.