ANZ Australian Job Ads index is now at its highest level since April 2019, with the announcement yesterday (Monday) that the number of job ads rose 2.3% month-on-month in January.
This is the eighth consecutive monthly gain and pushes the annual growth of job ads up to 5.3%.
The ANZ Australian Job Ads data is based on the average number of job ads carried by each of the contributing Internet sites on the same day of each week in the month indicated.
Job ads slowed in January, but no concern
The sites are Seek.com.au and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Jobsearch.gov.au. As of November 2020, newspaper display job ads have been excluded.
“While the pace of growth slowed to 2.3% month-on-month [in January], we do not think this is cause for concern. Job Ads is heading in the right direction and is now 5.3% higher than its pre-pandemic level,” commented ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch.
“Other labour market indicators are also looking positive, including National Australia Bank’s employment index, which improved dramatically in the [bank’s] December business survey.”
Solid employment gains should continue
She said overall indicators suggested solid employment gains should continue into the first half of 2021 and hopefully alleviate the effect of the end of JobKeeper in March, although achieving this would be harder if the JobKeeper support was not replaced by more targeted assistance to Australians.
“Importantly, though, the headline labour market numbers mask disparities, with lower-paid workers still worse off,” Birch warned.
This is evident elsewhere too, she emphasised, with the Chair of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, noting again last week that “those least able to shoulder the burden have been hardest hit” by the downturn, particularly lower-wage workers and minority groups.
Job Ads findings similar to ABS figures
Birch said the Federal Reserve now viewed maximum employment as a “broad-based and inclusive goal”, which was something the Reserve Bank of Australia may also take into account at its upcoming meetings, when determining policy settings in light of the faster-than-expected economic recovery in the country.
The ANZ Australian Job Ads findings are in line in with those of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Recently the ABS announced that there were 254,000 job vacancies recorded in November, which was a higher total than in February 2020, before Covid-19 largely shut down the economy.