Bright outlook for employment despite a dip in job ads

  • By Zilla Efrat

Demand for labour remains high and solid employment gains are expected even though ANZ Australian job ads eased slightly in April, according to ANZ’s latest figures.

“ANZ job ads dropped 0.5 per cent month-on-month in April but remained 57.3 per cent above the pre-pandemic level,” says ANZ head of Australian economics, David Plank.

“We expect strong labour demand to lead to solid employment gains in the coming months,” he says.

“We see the unemployment rate dropping well below 4 per cent in the second half of 2022, which should reinforce the momentum toward higher wages growth.”

Plank notes: “Labour market conditions are very tight, as confirmed by the 3.7 per cent increase in newly lodged job ads (or 10,200 new job ads) in March recorded by the National Skill Commission’s Internet Vacancy Index.”

Similarly, Plank says an employment report by SEEK showed that job ads increased in 26 of 28 industry categories in March, with hospitality and tourism roles registering the greatest growth.

In March, employment rose by 18,000, below market expectations of 30,000. The participation rate remained stable at its all-time high of 66.4 per cent and the unemployment rate declined to 3.95 per cent, its lowest since 1974.

However, Plank says many people are still struggling to find work with the long-term unemployment rate remaining relatively high at 1 per cent, despite the record-high number of job vacancies recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in February.

“This shows that even with a very strong labour market there are areas that need attention.”