Australia job advertisements fall 5.6 pct in May-ANZ

SYDNEY, June 10 Mon Jun 9, 2014 10:11pm EDT

SYDNEY, June 10 (Reuters) - Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet fell 5.6 percent in May to end a four-month run of gains, a possible sign that businesses scaled back hiring plans in the face of a tough federal budget.

A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements fell to 127,790 per week on average in May, from 135,421 in April. Ads were down 3.0 percent on May last year.

"The timing of the fall coincides with the deterioration in consumer confidence since negative news flow regarding the Commonwealth Budget began and suggests that business confidence has similarly been affected," said ANZ senior economist Justin Fabo.

"Along with confidence, the key question now is whether the fall in job ads is largely temporary," he added.

Official employment figures for May are due on Thursday and analysts generally look for a rise of 10,000 after a run of solid months so far this year. The jobless rate is seen ticking up to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent in April.

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 Clarence Fernandez)

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