Jobs ads point to further employment boost

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

Further good news on employment looks likely after new figures showed job advertising on the internet has grown for 12 months in a row, something that hasn’t occurred for over six years.

Department of Employment figures released on Wednesday showed jobs ads on the internet rose by 0.5 per cent in October for an 8.4 per cent increase over the year.

“Job vacancies remain strong, pointing to further jobs growth,” Commonwealth Securities senior economist Ryan Felsman said on Wednesday.

Internet jobs ads grew in five of the eight occupational groups monitored by the department in October with increased demand for workers spread over three states and both territories.

Data last week showed the economy posted its 13th consecutive monthly employment rise in October, a result not seen since 1994.

It took the jobless rate down to a five-year low of 5.4 per cent.

However, such strength has yet to translate into higher wage increases.

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe told an economists’ dinner on Tuesday weak wage growth was hitting Australia and other countries as a result of heightened competition through globalisation and technology.

“Tighter labour markets should still push up wages and prices, even if it takes a little longer than we are used to,” Dr Lowe said.

Other data showed there was another strong rise in construction work during the September quarter.

Construction work completed in the quarter soared 15.7 per cent, lifted by a 33 per cent surge in engineering as a result of two imported floating LNG platforms being installed.

Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said these LNG facilities will add to Australia’s exports over the next few years.

However, this was offset by building work declining 0.4 per cent in the quarter with residential activity down 0.3 per cent and non-residential off 0.6 per cent.

The data feeds into the September quarter growth figures in the national accounts that are due for release on December 6.

Economists will refine their growth forecasts over the next two weeks as a range of quarterly reports are released.

At this stage forecasts roughly range from 0.5 to 0.9 per cent growth in the quarter, possibly lifting the annual rate to three per cent and a much stronger outcome than of late.

The national accounts, a comprehensive guide to how the economy is performing, will also assist Treasury’s own predictions for the mid-year budget review.

Under the coalition government, the mid-year budget review is usually released around two weeks after the national accounts.


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