The number of Australian job advertisements fell in September for the third straight month, ANZ (ASX:ANZ) research shows.
Total job ads, including online and in newspapers, fell 2.1% during the month. Internet job advertising fell a slightly higher 2.2% month over month.
The bank's monthly Job Advertisements Series shows that listings began declining in April after nearly a year of monthly flat or positive growth. A slight turnaround in June proved to be shortlived.
In trend terms, advertisements have been declining for each of the last six months.
Based in part on this data, ANZ forecasts that unemployment will grow to 5.5% by mid-next year. ABS data shows the unemployment rate at 5.3% as of August.
Australia can accordingly expect more subdued employment growth in the coming months, ANZ head of Australian economics and property research Ivan Colhoun cautioned.
An unemployment rate of 5.5% would equate to employment growth of less than 6,000 jobs per month, he said.
The September analysis also shows more signs of the emergence of the so-called “two-speed economy,” with job ads rising solidly in WA and NT amidst the national decline.
Despite the ongoing shift in employment advertising to the online channel, the number of job ads in major metropolitan newspapers held steady during the month. Colhun said this marks the first time newspaper job ad volumes have not declined since February.
But newspaper job ads are now down 12.8% year-on-year. By comparison, online job ads are up 4% from a year ago – but down 6.2% from the recent peak in March.