Job advertisements in Australia are now at their highest level in more than 12 years, according to the latest figures from the ANZ banking group released yesterday (Tuesday).
This means the number of job vacancies being listed are now better than at any time since November 2008.
Both ANZ and financial news agency Reuters have also noted that this is probably a sign the recovering economy and jobs market is robust enough to withstand the removal of some key Federal Government support programs – such as the JobKeeper allowance.
ANZ’s monthly Job Ads listing indicates that total job ads grew 7.4% in March from February, when they increased by 8.8% over January.
More than 190,000 jobs listed in March
In March 2021, a total of 190,542 vacancies were listed, a significant 39.7% up on the same time in 2020, when the pandemic began to bite heavily into the economy and Australia entered its first lockdowns.
“Six months ago, our view was that ANZ Job Ads would need to sustain levels materially higher than pre-pandemic in order to entrench the labour market recovery,” said ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch.
“[It] has done better than that [and is] now 23% above its pre-Covid level and at a 12-year high. This strength has been reflected in the labour market, with employment close to a record high in February.”
Birch added: “This gives us further confidence that the impact of the end of JobKeeper will be smaller than previously feared.”
Post-JobKeeper losses likely to be small
Of the 1.1-million workers that Treasury estimates were still receiving the JobKeeper payment in the first quarter of 2021, ANZ estimate that 100,000-150,000 people will lose employment, equivalent to 0.8-1.2% of the current workforce.
But Birch said the bank’s view is that net employment losses will be smaller, as growing labour demand elsewhere should mean many workers would find a new job relatively quickly.
“While we expect a temporary rise in the unemployment rate in quarter two, we think it will resume its rapid downward trajectory in [the second half of] 2021.”
Australian unemployment reached a pandemic-induced peak of 7.5% reached in July last year. In February this year, it stood at 5.8%.