Small signs of economic slowdown emerge: Economy round-up

Jobs and construction industry data released today point to a slight softening in economic conditions over the past couple of months.

According to SEEK, the number of new jobs ads on its site grew by 1% in January, less than half of the 2.5% monthly growth averaged over 2007.

Even more interestingly, the SEEK employment index, which measures the number of applications for each job ad, decreased by 3.8%, suggesting there are slightly more candidates per job out there.

And growth in the construction industry also eased up in January, with the Australian Industry Group – Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index falling 0.9 points, although at 58.3 it is still well above the 50 point line separating growth from contraction.

“Although growth has been maintained, the rate of increase was weaker across most sectors, with the softening in new orders pointing to a further overall easing in industry conditions in the months ahead,” Australian Industry Group economist Tony Pensabene says.

On the markets, the S&P/ASX200 is down again today after yesterday’s 3.17% battering. At 12.46pm it has fallen 1.6% on yesterday’s close to 5519.4 points as market watchers continue to debate the wisdom of BHP’s mammoth bid for Rio Tinto.


The top five jobs employers found hardest to fill in November 2007 were:


The top five most competitive occupations in November 2007 were:

1. Construction (Landscape Architects)

1. Call centre/customer service (Call Centre Operators)

2. Government/Defence (Air Force Personnel)

2. Manufacturing/Operations (Packers/Fillers)

3. Self-Employment (Network Marketers)

3. Hospitality & Tourism (Airline Personnel)

4. Healthcare & Medical (Radiologists & Sonographers)

4. Advert/Media/Entertainment (Actors/Dancers/Singers/Musicians)

5. Primary Industry (Env. & Natural Resource Personnel)

5. Retail & Consumer Prods.(Retail Sales Assistants)


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