The jobs market continues to recover in the usual way, according to the November job ads series from the ANZ Bank, with a strong rise in part-time employment.

That’s typical of an economy recovering from the slowdown (America’s more damaged economy is showing a similar recovery in its labour market).

Part-time employment can be a lead indicator for what will happen later in the labour market when activity in the economy is sluggish.

With Australian Bureau of Statistics retail sales figures showing continuing 1%-plus gains in monthly sales for cafes, takeaway places and restaurants, the solid demand for part-time employment can be explained.

Cafes, etc, are one of the strong performing sectors of retailing at the moment and have been since midyear.

The ANZ  today said the total number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet rose 5.2%, reversing a 1.7% drop in October.

Ads in papers alone rose 8.3%, which should be good news for the likes of Fairfax and News Ltd.

”The 8.3% lift in newspaper job advertising in November is particularly encouraging, given that this sector tends to ‘lead’ overall job advertising trends,” according to Warren Hogan, ANZ’s acting-chief economist.

He said that with other positive recent economic news, ”these data imply that Australia’s recovery from the recent downturn is gathering pace,” he said in a statement today.

The ANZ survey’s rise comes after the Olivier recruitment group’s index showed full-time job ads rose 5.9% last month, more than the 4.6% increase in part-time positions job ads.

Job ads rose to average 140,658 a week last month, but the job gains came entirely in part-time work.

Hogan said full-time jobs have dropped 10,400 since June, while part-time positions have added 85,500 in the same period.

”The net addition in headcount in recent months is telling us only part of the labour market story, with actual demand still proving to be soft,” Hogan said.

But the ANZ report shows that total job advertisements are now 12.3% higher than the trough recorded in July, but they are still 34.2% lower than in November 2008.

In trend terms, the total number of job advertisements increased by 1.6% in November, the same pace of trend growth as seen in October.

The number of internet job advertisements rose by 5.0% to average 131,128 per week but they remained 35.1% lower than a year ago.

In trend terms, internet job advertisements rose by 1.5% in November but are still 36.6% lower than in November 2008 in trend terms.

The ANZ said that in trend terms, the number of newspaper job advertisements grew by 2.3% in November, their sixth consecutive month of trend growth

“The biggest increase in newspaper job advertisements in September was in Western Australia (+18.4%), followed by Victoria (+14.0%), the Northern Territory (+10.5%), the Australian Capital Territory (+10.3%), South Australia (+7.2%), New South Wales (+6.0%) and Tasmania (+0.8%). Queensland was the only state to experience a fall in newspaper job advertisements this month,” the ANZ said.

The November employment and jobs figures are out Thursday: the market thinks 5000 new jobs were created, but the unemployment rate could rise to 5.9% as more people rejoin the workforce looking for jobs.

Peter Fray

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