Monday, 7 July 2008

Aussie Job Market Softens Further

More signs that the Australian economy is slowing came from two employment indicies released today. From the smh:

Jobs market softening

Signs of a slowdown in Australia's drum-tight labour market are appearing, in an indication that the high interest rates are certainly working.

The two indices of employment published today, by the ANZ and Seek, show that the number of new jobs being advertised is falling rapidly - potentially indicating the strong rate of employment could be about to end.

The ANZ index, which charts jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and online, revealed a 3% decline for June, the second fall in two months following May's 1.7% decline.

The slowdown has been most pronounced in newspapers, with the job ads down 18% from June last year.

The Seek measure, which charts only online vacant positions as a ratio to applications, showed the seventh consecutive decline as advertisements were off by 5.1%.

The two unofficial employment indices are usually a sound indicator of where the Australian labour market is heading.

The unemployment rate will be announced on Thursday and economists are predicting that another 20,000 jobs were wiped during June, following on from May's soft result when employment fell by 19,700.

The result was the first negative reading since October 2006, and sparked the theory that the labour market had reached its peak.

click on the link for the full story. If payrolls fall again in June (the numbers come out on Thursday) it will give the RBA yet another reason to remain on the sidelines. Only a monster inflation report later in the month has a chance of changing that outlook.