GM exit will pile pressure on job market
The labour market is expected to remain under pressure as the mining sector's shift from investment to production reduces its demand for jobs, and amid further indications Holden is set to leave Australia.
Job advertisements in November fell by 0.8 per cent after easing 0.1 per cent in October, ANZ's monthly survey published on Monday showed. Ads were 10 per cent lower than a year ago.
The pace of declines appeared to be slowing in Victoria and the mining state of Western Australia, while job ads in NSW have stabilised over the past four months.
Even so, ANZ's head of Australian economics, Justin Fabo, said employment conditions were "likely to remain soggy in the near term".
"The resources boom is now moving into the operational-production phase, which is expected to be less labour-intensive than the investment phase," Mr Fabo said.
"While this will likely see net exports contribute strongly to GDP growth over the next few years, growth in domestic demand - and employment - is likely to remain more subdued."
The latest data came as a Wall Street Journal report on Monday said that General Motors, Holden's parent company, intended to close its two Australian plants as the car maker cuts back on its international operations.
The report, written at GM's Detroit headquarters, said the strength of the Australian dollar and the shift to imports were undermining its competitiveness in the country.
The wind-back on its operations outside the US, which began with GM withdrawing the Chevrolet brand from Europe last week, was an attempt to boost the company's profits, the report said.
The status of Holden's operations in Australia has been under scrutiny amid reports the car maker had decided to pull out of the country by 2016. There are fears the company's withdrawal could hit local component makers and place up to 40,000 jobs in jeopardy in Victoria alone.
In May, Ford said it would stop manufacturing cars in Australia in October 2016, with a loss of 1600 jobs. It followed Mitsubishi's move towards importing cars in 2008.
The reports came ahead of the release of November employment numbers on Thursday. Economists expect the jobless rate to rise to 5.8 per cent in November from 5.7 per cent in October. About 10,000 jobs were expected to be added to the economy.
The Treasury forecasts the jobless rate to rise to 6.25 per cent next year as the economy transitions away from resources-driven growth.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar remained resilient despite expectations that strong US jobs figures would weaken the currency as stimulus reduction expectations are brought forward. The currency was buying US90.87¢ in late trade.