Australian job vacancy advertisements slumped last month for a seventh month, led by a record drop in newspaper notices, as employers pared hiring plans amid concern the economy may enter a recession.
Jobs advertised in newspapers and on the Internet plunged 8.6 percent last month to an average of 211,199 a week, after falling 5.9 percent in October, said an Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd report released in Melbourne on Monday.
Newspaper ads fell over the last two months by the most in the 30-year history of the survey.
Central bank Governor Glenn Stevens cut the benchmark interest rate by 1 percentage point last week to a six-year low of 4.25 percent to help the economy avoid its first recession in 17 years.
GDP grew 0.1 percent in the third quarter, the weakest pace in eight years. Employers probably cut 15,000 jobs last month, a survey found.
“The global financial crisis has had a substantial impact on the Australian economy in the December quarter,” said Warren Hogan, head of economics at ANZ Bank in Sydney. “If the recent weakness in job ads is sustained, it would be consistent with a contraction in total employment over the first six months of 2009. This would result in a much more rapid rise in the unemployment rate than we are currently forecasting.”
Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent last month from 4.3 percent in October, according to the median estimate of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The number of jobs advertised in newspapers fell 12 percent to 11,767 per week, 43 percent lower than a year earlier.
Vacancies on the Internet slid 8.4 percent to an average 199,433 per week, 13 percent lower than 12 months ago.