Job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet slipped for a fifth straight month in March, according to an ANZ tally, although some of the weakness could be due to a change in the way companies hire.
Figures from ANZ showed total job advertisements fell 1.7 per cent in March, from February when they dipped 0.8 per cent.
Ads averaged 166,509 a week, six per cent lower than in March last year.
ANZ’s head of Australian economics David Plank noted the fall in the ads series was at odds with government data on vacancies which hit record highs in the February quarter.
“We think the divergence may reflect changes in the way firms search for employees, with more possibly directing job seekers to their own websites rather than advertising broadly for every position,” Mr Plank said.
“If this is the case, then the divergence reflects a structural shift in ANZ Job Ads rather than signalling a weaker job market.”
Recent strength in business conditions and job vacancies suggest that the labour market will remain resilient despite weaker job ads, he added.
Australia’s labour market tightened steadily through 2018 even as the economy appeared to slow, with the unemployment rate hitting an eight-year trough of 4.9 per cent in February.