The Reserve Bank is expected to lift the official cash rate today despite evidence that suggests the labour market is losing some of its momentum.
According to the latest ANZ Job Advertisement Series, the total number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet fell by 8.1 per cent in January to an average of 134,106 per week.
ANZ acting chief economist Warren Hogan said the monthly decline in advertisements highlights the fragility inherent in the current recovery phase.
However, Mr Hogan was confident that the recent upswing seen in employment levels will continue to improve throughout 2010.
“Despite this month’s decline relative to December, total job advertisements are continuing to improve month on month in trend terms. This has already translated into solid employment growth through Q4 2009 and helped to keep the unemployment rate in check, despite Australia’s accelerating population and labour force growth,” Mr Hogan said.
“In the near term, the forward indicators appear positive for more employment growth through the first half of 2010, although probably at a slower pace than seen over the past four months.
“The ANZ job ads surveys are improving, albeit at a softening pace, retail sales turnover appears to be holding up well in the ‘post-stimulus’ period, business investment and construction are regrouping, and business sentiment and expectations remain relatively strong.”
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