A job advertisement increase of 7.9% on the month means 12 straight months of gains, and ANZ says this job ads figure is "consistent with an unemployment rate of around 5%", and expects the unemployment rate to reach just 4.4% by the end of 2022. 

In its seasonally-adjusted figure, there were 213,894 job ads in May according to ANZ's research, which uses data from Seek and Jobsearch.gov.au.

A boost in job ads is one of the first inklings that tapering off JobKeeper was not as dramatic as many predicted according to ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch, who also pointed to some headwinds in the market.

"We expect both unemployment and underemployment to fall further. What is still uncertain is the strength of the transition from lower underutilisation to higher wages growth, and then to inflation," she said.

Wages growth and inflation around 2-3% are the two key tenets into whether the Reserve Bank raises the cash rate or not.

Looking to June, Ms Birch said Victoria's lockdown is "unlikely to derail" the job ads growth.

"Even if we see some employment losses in June, as long as restrictions start easing from 11 June as currently planned, workers should be reinstated or find new jobs quite quickly, given the underlying strength in the labour market," she said.

ANZ's job ads data coincides with Westpac's consumer confidence index showing the 'Unemployment Expectations Index' has fallen to a decade low.

More to come...

Photo by Ivan Henao on Unsplash

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