Job Ads Decline Sharply in Australia, Consumer Sentiment Improves
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Job advertisements in Australia suffered the sharpest decline in over 10 years during March as a result of the shutdown and social distancing measures enforced by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus. According to latest data by ANZ Banking Group, total job ads were down by 10.3% in March after posting a 1.2% increase in February.
Around 142k jobs were advertised during the month of March this year, 18.2% lesser than the corresponding period last year. This was the worst fall in job ads seen since January 2009, during the financial crisis.
Despite the Australian government announcing JobKeeper payments to support workers whose jobs are impacted by the coronavirus shutdown, economists expect unemployment to rise to over 10% in the coming months from 5.1% in February before the pandemic hit global markets. Analysts have forecast that the JobKeeper program could help bring down unemployment rate and help stabilize the economy.
On a positive note, the ANZ consumer sentiment registered an improvement over the previous week after falling steeply for two consecutive months. The consumer sentiment index increased by 10.3% from last week, but continues to remain near multi-year lows.