Australia job ads jump 7.4% in November

Australian job advertisements surged in November as the lifting of coronavirus lockdown measures saw demand for labour spike in Sydney and Melbourne, auguring well for a rapid recovery in the economy.

Monday’s figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ.AX) showed total job ads climbed 7.4% in November from October, when they had already gained 7.5%.

That left adds 52% higher than a year earlier at 222,093, and a lofty 44% up on pre-pandemic levels.

ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch said the report indicated a sharp rebound was likely in official employment figures following a surprise 46,300 drop in October and a rise in the jobless rate to 5.2%.

“Job ads suggest the unemployment rate should drop back below 5% in the near term, and we expect it to fall to around 4% by the end of 2022 and even further in 2023,” said Birch. “Underemployment is also likely to be much lower.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia is seeking to drive unemployment down to 4% or even lower in the hope of finally lifting wage growth after years of tepid gains.

The central bank holds its December policy meeting on Tuesday and is widely considered certain to keep its policy interest rate at a record low of 0.1% and to reiterate the outlook for no hikes until at least 2023.