Australian job ads rise in August

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jobs in Australia
A job advert for a local fast food outlet hangs on a wall in a shopping center located in central Sydney, Australia, in this March. Reuters/David Gray

Job advertisements in Australia climbed for a sixth consecutive month in August. The findings suggest that the strong pick-up in employment this year is likely to stay for a while.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has released a monthly survey showing total job advertisements rose by 2.0 percent last month. This can be compared to 1.6 percent in July.

Australian job ads of 179,572 were up a healthy 13.3 percent on July last year. It was the highest recorded figure since 2011. The government measure has finally caught up with the strength seen in ads and pushed the jobless rate down to 5.6 percent after increases in employment from March to July.

ANZ's head of Australian economics David Plank said job ads continue their period of strength, consistent with robust business conditions. "Together with other forward indicators and survey-based measures, this strength suggests some downside risk to the unemployment rate in the near term, with employment expected to rise in the order of 15-20k per month over the period ahead,” he said, according to The Business Times.

The nation’s economy is therefore set for a bumper second half of the year. It is spurred by dropping unemployment, the best manufacturing sector conditions in 15 years and a global upswing that raises demand for exports from tourism to ore.

It is expected that Australia's economy is set for a bumper in the second half of 2017. Some economists say it is spurred by the best manufacturing sector conditions in 15 years, falling unemployment and a widespread global upswing that is raising demand for exports from iron ore to tourism.

Paul Bloxham, HSBC Australia chief economist, upgraded his forecast for second-quarter GDP growth from 0.5 percent to 0.9 percent. He pushed the annual rate to 1.9 percent from 1.5 percent.

"Most of the timely indicators of domestic economic activity suggest that growth is set to pick up pace in coming quarters," Financial Review quotes Bloxham as saying. He added that this would prompt the first Reserve Bank of Australia official interest rate hikes in the first months of 2018.

Amid the improved data, several analysts are still not convinced that growth will reach the kind of pace that the Reserve Bank of Australia and the government anticipated. For instance, ANZ Bank expects year-on-year growth over 2017-18 will be 2.8 percent. Meanwhile, Citibank economists have warned that national accounts might disappoint the Reserve Bank. 

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