Job ads hardly better than in the GFC
JOB advertisements were flat in September after a 2.0 per cent decline in August and a 1.1 per cent decline in July. This was the first flat (positive) print from job ads in seven consecutive months, leaving ads some 9 per cent lower than in February this year. Job ads remained 15.2 per cent below year-ago levels and just 5 per cent higher than the lowest level reached during the Global Financial Crisis. Job ads in NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory appear to be finding a base. Meanwhile, job ads in WA, Victoria, Qld and the ACT are falling. There is concern the job ads index is highlighting not just that the labour demand is still well below the highs of 2008, but also that this demand was in decline since April 2011. Firms have been reluctant to hire and the reason we have not seen a more meaningful dip in total employment is that most are still retaining, rather than firing, workers.