AAP Finance

Australian job ads flat in December

By AAP Newswire

Job advertisements in Australian newspapers and on the internet were unchanged in December although annual growth was still strong.

Figures from ANZ on Tuesday showed total job advertisements were flat from November, when they fell 0.4 per cent.

Ads averaged 175,428 a week, 4.1 per cent higher than in December last year.

Australia's labour market tightened steadily through 2018 with the unemployment rate hitting a six and a half year trough of 5 per cent in September.

While there is still some spare capacity left in the market, there are questions over whether the momentum of the last two years can continue.

"ANZ Australian Job Ads showed very little in the way of direction for most of 2018," said ANZ's Head of Australian Economics David Plank.

"The flat result for December underlines this pattern."

Unless job ads jump by 1.3 per cent 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 added.

Plank, however, noted that the flat result in December need not point to a drop in employment as the level of job ads is "sufficiently high" for ongoing labour market growth.