Jobs ads are set to moderate.
Jobs ads are set to moderate.

Job advertisements are at their lowest levels for three years after falling for the 10th straight month in December, a leading employment survey says.

ANZ senior economist Justin Fabo said weak jobs ads, coupled with an economy expected to grow below trend in 2013 and a high currency, paved the way for further interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The total number of job ads placed in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet fell 3.8 per cent in December, according to the ANZ job advertisements series published.

Mr Fabo said the number of job ads in December was 20 per cent below the most recent peak in February 2012 and were almost half the level reached before the global financial crisis.

The weak jobs ads growth in the economy suggested "conditions for a large share of Australian businesses remain challenging and the outlook uncertain", Mr Fabo said.

"Further monetary easing is therefore necessary to generate sufficient expansion in interest-rate sensitive sectors to support overall growth and limit the rise in the unemployment rate," Mr Fabo said in a statement.

"ANZ expects the RBA to lower the cash rate by a further 25 basis points in coming months and for modest growth to necessitate further policy easing over the remainder of this year."

The RBA cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to three per cent in December, levels not seen since the global financial crisis.

The central bank traditionally does not meet in January and is due to hand down its next interest rate decision on at 11.30am on Tuesday, February 5.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will publish the December labour force report at 8.30am.

Economists were expecting 4,000 jobs to have been added in the month and an unemployment rate of 5.4 per cent, compared with 5.2 per cent in November.

"There have been few clearer trends in the Aussie macro data than the persistent ebbing of labour demand through last year," JP Morgan economists said in a research note.

ANZ said it received only partial data for newspaper job ads in NSW and Victoria in December and used estimates or the missing numbers.

"Any effect on the estimate of aggregate newspaper and internet job advertisements, however, is likely to be small given that newspaper job advertisements account for just four per cent of the total number of job advertisements," ANZ said.

The West Australian

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