Skilled vacancy data weak

The latest Department of Employment and Workplace Relations skilled vacancies report provides us with yet another weak leading indicator of employment growth. According to the latest report the trend growth in skilled vacancies fell to 2% from a month earlier where it registered a fall of 1.9%. However if we take a look at the seasonal change over the past three month we can see falls of 2.7% in April, 11% in May and 5.1% in June.

The annual pace of decline in skilled vacancies in seasonally adjusted terms remains down around 20% while in trend terms is down 16%

While the NAB employment index is my favorite leading indicator of employment, the annual pace of skilled vacancies, both in Seasonally Adjusted and Trend terms suggests that the pace of employment growth will continue to slow over the coming months.

With there being a clear correlation between housing, retail and employment there is a real risk of a negative feedback look intensifying if the employment outcomes deteriorate further over the remainder of 2011.

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  1. Meanwhile AAP reports the same data like this:

    Internet job ads rise slightly in May

    Internet job advertisements for skilled workers rose by 0.3 per cent in May compared to a month earlier, national data shows.

    The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ internet vacancy index in May was 93.8 points, 12.0 per cent higher than in May 2010.

    Which all sounds like a strong job market to me. No suggestion of a weak employment market in the AAP report at all.

    So, who is telling the truth here?

  2. The jobs market, at least in finance/professional services, has dropped off noticeably this year. It had become quite strong last year, with a lot of staff turn over and headhunting going on, but this year that activity has dropped off significantly.

    Whereas last year there were a glut of jobs available, there are far fewer vacancies now and some have come off the market as well as companies re-think their requirements.

    The fall in full-time jobs is also a sure sign of weakness.