Job ads not at economic recovery party

MARIA SLADE
Last updated 11:19 21/06/2013

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Job advertisements fell 1.7 per cent in May, reversing previous gains and indicating that the job market has yet to catch up with the economic recovery, ANZ says.

The latest ANZ New Zealand Job Advertisements report shows newspaper job ads fell 7.2 per cent in May, while internet job ads fell 0.7 per cent. This was despite strong gains in February and March.

Given that job advertising leads changes in unemployment data by six months, the new figures suggest a risk the unemployment rate will rise, the bank said.

"Job advertising remains the conspicuously absent guest at the New Zealand economic party of 2013," it said.

Both it and the Reserve Bank were forecasting an improvement in the labour market over the rest of the year, but job advertising was yet to back this up, ANZ said.

"Like the rest of the economy, labour market outcomes remain disparate across regions and sectors."

Regional figures were difficult to interpret, with newspaper and internet advertising sending different messages.

Wellington is showing surprising resilience in newspaper advertising, but remains fairly flat overall.

Canterbury appears to be losing steam with a 9.5 per cent fall in newspaper ads and internet ads flat after falling in April.

The annual change in total job advertising in the region has turned negative for the first time since September 2010.

Annual growth in Auckland has dipped back into negative territory, thanks to a 17 per cent decline in newspaper advertising over the past year. Internet advertising in the period was flat.

In the smaller centres, newspaper advertising rose in Waikato but fell in Hawke's Bay, Manawatu and Otago.

Internet advertising provides a good indicator for the annual change in unemployment, and suggests a recoil from the sharp improvement in the unemployment rate in the March quarter may occur, ANZ said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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