Job Advertisements Rebound In June

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July 7th, 2014

JOB advertisements have bounced back after spending cuts and tax hikes announced in the federal budget weighed on business hiring intentions.

Job ads rose 4.3 per cent in June, following a 5.6 per cent drop in May, ANZ figures showed on Monday.

The pick-up in June was a tentative sign that last month’s weakness was transitory, ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said. “Each of the monthly job ads series fell in May, which in the context of the recent deterioration in consumer confidence, could be an indication there has been a budget effect on business confidence,” Mr Hogan said.

Despite the volatility, job ads were six per cent higher than at the start of 2014, suggesting labour demand was improving, Mr Hogan said.

But momentum in the economy appeared to have softened recently, weighed down by the budget fallout and wind-down in mining investment, he said.

“Consumer spending has noticeably weakened since the start of the year and the still-low level of consumer confidence since headlines around the commonwealth budget surfaced flags the risk that consumer spending may not bounce back very quickly,” Mr Hogan said.

“At the same time, gauging the extent of the fallout from the declining terms of trade has also added uncertainty about the path of the economy’s recovery at a time when mining investment is expected to wind back sharply.

“While we continue to expect a period of moderate growth as the emerging strength in the non-mining sectors of the economy is partly offset by the drag from mining investment, the outlook is more uncertain.” On a positive note, signs of a pick-up in the US economy could push the Australian dollar lower, which would support domestic growth, Mr Hogan said.

But a turnaround in Australia’s economic activity was likely to be “fairly gradual”, he said, with ANZ forecasting interest rates to stay on hold until 2015.