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Australian job ads decline 2.8% in February

ANZ-Indeed data reveals 2.8% decrease in job ads, signaling potential labour market challenges ahead

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Job advertisements in Australia saw a 2.8% decline.
The decline in job ads were prominent in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia.
The tech industry witnessed the most significant decrease in job ads.

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In February, job advertisements in Australia saw a 2.8% decline, as per the latest data from ANZ-Indeed. This drop was notably led by the tech sector, which has been experiencing a downturn in job ads over the past year.

The report highlighted a 2.8% decrease in job ads compared to the previous month, following a significant upward revision in January, which showed a 3.4% increase. This downward trend suggests a potential for further rise in the unemployment rate, alongside recent shifts in labour market dynamics. However, it’s anticipated that most adjustments in the near term will primarily manifest through reduced hours worked rather than a significant drop in employment.

On an annual basis, there was a substantial 12.4% decline compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, these figures still stand significantly higher, at 37.8%, compared to pre-COVID levels in February 2020.

Education and healthcare, notably for roles like doctors and nurses, showed resilience.

Madeline Dunk, an economist at ANZ, noted that this follows a softer-than-expected labour force survey in January, where there was a 2.5% month-on-month decrease in hours worked, minimal employment growth, and a rise in the unemployment rate to 4.1%.

The decline in job ads was particularly prominent in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, with New South Wales also experiencing a modest drop in February. Over the course of the year, NSW and Victoria contributed to over three-quarters of the overall decline in job ads.

Sector-wise, the tech industry witnessed the most significant decrease in job ads over the past year, accompanied by declines in the food preparation and personal care sectors. Conversely, education and healthcare, notably for roles like doctors and nurses, showed resilience. Nonetheless, job ads declined across 92% of occupational groups over the past year, indicating a broad-based reduction in employment opportunities.

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