Australian job advertisements jumped a record 42 per cent in June as much of the economy re-opened from coronavirus lockdowns, but remained sharply lower from a year earlier.
Monday’s figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job ads climbed to an average 89,252, up from just 62,872 in May.
Ads had edged down 0.3 per cent in May after a huge 53.7 per cent dive in April.
Despite the bounce, ads were still down 44.6 per cent on June last year.
“After an initial bounce, we expect the recovery will be a lot slower. There have been a number of recent large-scale lay-offs announced across a wide range of sectors, including travel, retail, media, consulting, and education,” said ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch.
She noted the rise in new COVID-19 cases in Melbourne and return to lockdowns in several postcodes posed a risk to the pace and timing of the recovery.
Economists fear unemployment could spike toward 10 per cent in coming months as large chunks of the economy were shut to fight the virus.
Official data last showed the jobless rate rose to 7.1 per cent in May, and would have been more than 11 per cent if not for government measures to limit lay-offs.
The ANZ vacancies series is closely watched by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) given it counts actual job ads, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics data is based on intentions by firms to hire.
The RBA has slashed rates to a record low of 0.25 per cent and launched a massive bond buying programme to cushion the economy from the impact of the pandemic.