Australia Job Ads Fall for Fifth Month in Six in December, ANZ Bank Says

Australian job notices declined in December for the fifth time in six months as companies delayed personnel decisions during a bout of global financial turmoil, a private report showed.

Jobs advertised in newspapers and on the Internet fell 0.9 percent last month after rising a revised 0.1 percent in November, according to an Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. report released in Melbourne today.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates in November and December in the first back-to-back reductions in two years, lowering the benchmark to 4.25 percent to boost demand as inflation pressure eased. Hiring has weakened this year from a record in 2010 as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis weighs on global growth.

“A further modest rise in the unemployment rate, together with continued heightened global risks, should keep domestic inflationary pressures relatively benign for now,” Katie Dean, head of Australian economics at ANZ Bank, said in a statement. “This will provide the RBA with further scope to provide another modest easing of monetary policy.”

National vacancies advertised in newspapers dropped 1.1 percent in December, and Internet notices rose 3.5 percent, today’s report showed.

Australia’s unemployment rate likely held at 5.3 percent in December as employers added 10,000 jobs, a government report will show on Jan. 19, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 23 economists.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at mheath1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

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