THE number of jobs advertised in major newspapers and online rose by 6 per cent in December, the strongest monthly growth in two-and-a-half years.
Overall job ads averaged 149,063 a week, with newspaper job ads rising by 11.6 per cent and internet job ads increasing by 5.6 per cent, an ANZ survey shows.
The rise in December follows a 5.2 per cent increase the month before and it was the strongest monthly growth since May 2007.
ANZ acting chief economist Warren Hogan said total job advertisements have recovered from the recent low in July 2009 as they continue to improve each month.
“This is already translating into employment growth and helping to keep the unemployment rate relatively stable, despite accelerating population and labour force growth,” Mr Hogan said.
“This sustained improvement in job advertisements and actual employment has come relatively early in this economic recovery cycle, indicating the mildness of the downturn Australia has experienced over the past 18 months.”
The report comes ahead of labour force figures for December from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
Financial markets expect the number of new jobs created increased by 10,000 in December, and the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points in December.
The number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers averaged 10,631 a week, and were 4.8 per cent higher than 12 months ago, the ANZ survey says.
Online job ads averaged 138,432 a week, but they were 24.1 per cent lower than in December 2008.
Mr Hogan forecasts the job market to continue to improve in the coming months.
“In the near term, the forward indicators appear positive for some solid employment growth in December and over the summer months, although probably at a slower pace than seen in the past three months,” Mr Hogan said.
“The ANZ (and other) job ads surveys are improving rapidly, retail sales turnover grew strongly in November (retail trade is currently Australia’s second largest employing sector, behind health services), business investment and construction are regrouping, and the AiGs three industry surveys (manufacturing, services and construction) all indicated net expansion of employment in December.”
ANZ expects the unemployment rate to peak at around six per cent by mid-2010.