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Job Ads Suggest Labour Demand Still Strong


NAB/SEEK job ads fell 1.6% m/m in February after rising 2.9% the previous month. While job ads are off of theirmid-2022 peak, they are still high and well above pre-pandemic levels. They seem to have stabilised here indicating that demand for labour remains strong, making an April rate rise more likely. A rebound is expected in the February employment data on March 16 given the January decline reflected many between jobs. This vacancy data also point to employment remaining solid.

  • NAB believes that the downward adjustment in vacancies over H2 2023 reflected some normalisation of Covid-related factors, such as labour shortages in affected industries and the return of students and migrants. That process may have stalled for now but may resume as the economy continues to slow.
  • While job ads are down almost 20% from their May 2022 peak, they are still 25.3% above the 2019 high. The annual growth numbers are heavily impacted by negative base effects given the strong demand for labour at the start of last year.
  • Applicants per job stabilised at 91 in January, after 7 consecutive rises.
  • In Q1 to date, 24 of the 28 industries had higher job ads than in December, seasonally adjusted.
Australia NAB/SEEK new job ads index 2013=100

Source: MNI - Market News/SEEK

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