The number of job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers fell 10.4% in February, taking the annual fall over the last 12 months to 39.8%, according to the latest ANZ job advertisement survey. The number is such a sharp drop that ANZ has revised its unemployment forecasts, with the jobless rate now expected to reach 6.5% for mid-2009 and 7.5% by mid-2010.
Newspaper ads fell 25.2% last month (taking the annual drop to 55.4%) while internet ads fell 9.4% (a 38.6% annual fall).
The 10.4% drop is the largest monthly decline since the index started in 1999.
ANZ head of Australian economics, Warren Hogan, says that the trends in advertising are consistent with other figures that show the Australian economy is currently in recession.
“Our assessment is that the latest job ad results are consistent with employment contracting at a 2% annualised pace over the second half of 2009,” he says.
“This in turn suggests that the current downturn in the economy is likely to last throughout 2009, with little prospect of a meaningful recovery before 2010.”