ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch, commented:
Job Ads rose for a second consecutive month in February to be up almost 5% over the past two months. This has been a surprise to the positive side; a welcome relief from the more negative data from the private sector on construction work done, capital expenditure, and business conditions and confidence. The uptick in job ads and in ABS job vacancies in November could
have been a signal for some improvement in the labour market.
However, the past two months of gains weren’t enough to regain levels seen prior to the sharp loss in December and any underlying momentum may stall in the near-term. Other labour market indicators have turned down and in January, employment growth slowed to its weakest annual rate in almost three years. Demand for labour may pull back as the effects of COVID-19 on tourism, trade, supply chains and the wider economy become more apparent.