Today, the latest ANZ job ad survey revealed some worrying trends in the Australian employment market. According to the report, the job market contracted for the first time in nine months, dropping by nearly one and a half percent within the month of March. Despite the once positive predictions, analysts are suggesting that this might represent the downhill portion of peak employment growth.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan added that the general number of job ads is up on the previous year, representing a nearly ten percent boost in job advertisements and opportunities. But widespread job losses and other social factors are also taking a toll.

“This may suggest that peak growth in job advertisements has now passed,” Mr. Hogan wrote. “Despite this slowing, there is still a large divergence between this elevated levels of job advertisements, and continued upward momentum in the unemployment rate. This likely reflects that job losses in areas such as mining and manufacturing are causing a greater inflow of labour than other sectors of the economy are capable of absorbing.”

With all eyes trained on the Reserve Bank, it is a worrying indicator of things to come. As the government prepares its second budget, it seems the Australian public are not feeling too confident about the state of the economy. With serious closures affecting many tried-and-tested industries (in rural and urban areas), as well as a general atmosphere of frugality, the job market will become crowded by an over-abundance of job-seekers.

Other analysts have been quick to suggest that the latest economic data is merely an indicator of a ‘sluggish’ economy. This adjective implies a slight sense of lethargy, a light situation that may improve. According to these voices, future budget decisions and political choices will positively affect the nation’s economic prospects in the years to come.

But right now, down in the groove, job-seekers don’t feel that way…

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