Job advertisements contracted by 4.9 per cent in August, the largest monthly decline since February 2001 and the fourth consecutive monthly fall.
According to ANZ, the total number of advertisements was 0.3 per cent lower in August than 12 months ago, with newspaper ads in particular slumping by more than 25 per cent over the year.
ANZ head of Australian economics Warren Hogan said the figures were indicative of a significant slowing in hiring intentions across the country.
“The recent trends in newspaper job advertisements highlight the risk of an even more rapid slowing of unemployment growth than previously thought,” he said.
ANZ has forecast for unemployment to rise to around 5 per cent by mid-2009 however Mr Hogan said further declines in job ads, of the magnitude seen in August, may force the bank to revise this forecast.
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