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ANZ Job Ads Survey - October 2001

Data Flash (New Zealand)
ANZ Job Ads Survey - October 2001

The number of job advertisements decreased by 3.0% mom in October - the third consecutive monthly decline. The number of advertisements in October was 4.4% lower than a year earlier and 7.9% below the record high recorded in July. The softer outcome is consistent with other labour market data released this week. Not surprisingly, weakness seems to be concentrated in the urban areas.

Auckland job ads have declined in 6 of the past 7 months to be down 12.3% yoy, while Wellington jobs ads have fallen 15% yoy. A strong fall was also reported in Christchurch in October (annual growth declined from 30.5% to 13.5%). By contrast, job advertising in the central North Island has continued to increase, providing a partial offset to weakness elsewhere. We think that the current level of advertising is consistent with of employment growth of around 1.0% yoy. We forecast employment growth of 0.1% qoq in Q4, reducing annual growth rate to 1.3% from 2.3% in Q3.

However, given the sombre global economic environment and consequent business uncertainty, we would be surprised if job advertising levels did not soften further over coming months, consistent with our expectation that the economy will record only marginal employment growth in 2002.

This data, together with the aggressive easing moves undertaken by the ECB and Bank of England over night, is supportive of our view that the RBNZ will ease the OCR by 50bps to 4.75% on 14 November.

Darren Gibbs, Senior Economist, New Zealand

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