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Jobs flat-lining: Economy roundup

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Australia’s jobs market appears to be slowing significantly, with the ANZ jobs ads survey recording its second successive month of contraction.

Australia’s jobs market appears to be slowing significantly, with the ANZ jobs ads survey recording its second successive month of contraction.

The number of new jobs fell 0.3% in July, suggesting the bigger 3% fall in June may not simply be a one-off.

The fall in newspaper job advertisements in July was driven by decreases in South Australia (-9.7%), Victoria (-8.6%), Western Australia (-6.6%), Queensland (-5.2%), and New South Wales (-2.0%), with only the ACT and Tasmania recording small increases.

Internet advertisements were relatively unchanged and remain 7.9% up on this time last year.

ANZ head of Australian economics Warren Hogan says the job ads survey reflects the broader slowing in the Australian economy. ANZ predicts unemployment will drift upwards to be around 4.9% by June 2009.

“In conjunction with other economic data released in recent months, the job advertisements series provides further evidence that the current level of interest rates is achieving the Reserve Bank of Australia desired slowing in domestic economic growth,” Hogan says.

The prospect of weakness in the labour market will help take further heat out of the Australian dollar, which has already dropped significantly on recent speculation that a rate cut could be on the cards.

The Australian dollar is trading at US93.12c at 12.30pm around the US92c mark over the weekend, and could be set for bigger falls in the months ahead.

Australia sharemarket has bounced around quite a bit this morning, but by 12.30pm it had just fallen into negative territory, with the S&P/ASX200 down 0.1% on Friday’s close to 4899.4.

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