10/03/2009 - 09:24

WA records 30% slump in Feb job ads

10/03/2009 - 09:24

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Western Australia has recorded one of the larger falls in the number of job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet in February, a survey has found.

Western Australia has recorded one of the larger falls in the number of job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet in February, a survey has found.

The ANZ Banking Group survey found total job advertisements in WA slumped 29.8 per cent in February. The Northern Territory recorded the largest fall with 33.8 per cent.

Nationally, total job advertisements slipped 10.4 per cent, the largest recorded monthly fall since the series began in 1999.

It was the 10th consecutive monthly decline and the second time in three months that the survey recorded a double-digit percentage fall.

On an annual basis, the number of job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet has backpedalled 39.8 per cent in the 12 months to February.

This was also the worst outcome in the history of the survey.

ANZ head of Australian economics Warren Hogan said the survey suggested a substantial rise in the unemployment rate was likely and pointed to an economy already in recession.

"The current downturn in the economy is likely to last throughout 2009, with little prospect of a meaningful recovery before 2010," Mr Hogan said in a statement.

"Recent trends in job advertising are consistent with other indicators which suggest that the Australian economy entered recession in late 2008 and remains in recession in early 2009."

Mr Hogan said ANZ had revised its unemployment rate forecasts in response to the February survey.

The bank now expected the jobless rate to reach 6.5 per cent by the end of 2009 before climbing further to 7.5 per cent by the middle of 2010.

"These job advertisement numbers, based on historical relationships, suggests the risks to our forecasts are for higher unemployment," Mr Hogan said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes the February labour force report at 1130 AEDT on Thursday.

The market forecast at the start of the week was for the nation to have lost 20,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate tipped to reach five per cent, up from 4.8 per cent in January.

The number of job advertisements in major metropolitan newspapers fell by 25.2 per cent in February to an average of 8,524 a week, which more than reversed the 12.3 per cent rise recorded in January.

Newspaper advertisements have fallen 55.4 per cent in the year to February, the quickest pace of decline on record.

Newspaper job advertisements were lower in all states and territories with the ACT falling 27.4 per cent, Queensland and 25.8 per cent in NSW, while ads dropped 22.2 per cent in South Australia, 19.5 per cent in Tasmania and were 18.3 per cent lower in Victoria.

Internet job advertisements slipped 9.4 per cent in February, for an annual pace of decline of 38.6 per cent.

 

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