Australia job ads up 1.4% in June as labour market tightens

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SYDNEY, July 4 (Reuters) – Australian job advertisements rose to their highest since 2008 in June as demand for labour showed no sign of stalling, suggesting unemployment is likely to fall to fresh lows in coming moths.

Monday’s figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd  showed total job ads rose 1.4% in June from May. Ads were up 18.4% on a year earlier at 243,523 and 59% higher than January 2020 before the pandemic first struck.

“The sheer volume of unmet labour demand suggests underutilisation will keep falling and stay low even as demand growth is curtailed by higher inflation and rising interest rates,” said ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch.

“The very tight labour market is a key reason why we expect the economy will be resilient in the face of these.”

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) out last week showed vacancies in the three months to May jumped 13.8%, from the previous quarter, to a record 480,100 as firms struggled to find workers. 

The jobless rate has surprised by falling sharply over the past year to reach a 48-year low of 3.9% and a further drop is expected in coming months.

With the economy essentially at full employment and inflation running hot, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to hike interest rates by another 50 basis points to 1.35% at its July policy meeting on Tuesday. 

(Reporting by Wayne ColeEditing by Shri Navaratnam)

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