Australia job ads rise for fourth month in April

SYDNEY Sun May 4, 2014 9:30pm EDT

SYDNEY May 5 (Reuters) - Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet rose for a fourth straight month in April, a further sign that demand for labour is recovering from a long fallow period.

A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements rose a seasonally adjusted 2.2 percent in April, from March when they had risen 1.4 percent.

The average number of job ads per week was 136,091, from an upwardly revised 131,111 in March. That was up 1.5 percent on April last year, the first positive growth reading in at least two years.

Job ads on the Internet rose 2.7 percent in April to 132,436 and were up 2.2 percent on the year. Newspaper ads fell 11.8 percent, after a couple of months of gains as part of a prolonged structural shift to other forms of advertising. "Labour demand has strengthened this year, with each of the main job ads/vacancies measures improving gradually, or at least stabilising over this period," said ANZ chief economist for Australia Ivan Colhoun.

"The pick-up in hiring intentions suggests employment growth will continue to improve modestly in the near term and the unemployment rate should be close to a peak around 6 percent or slightly lower."

Official employment figures for April are due on Thursday and analysts generally look for a rise of 6,750 after a couple of solid months. The jobless rate is seen ticking up to 5.9 percent after an unexpected fall to 5.8 percent in March.

The ANZ job ads survey's correlation with employment has weakened over the last couple of years, in part due to firms using other methods of reaching job seekers such as social media. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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