Internet ad numbers fall again

Even though the number of job advertisements counted in the major newspapers rose slightly in December, the number of internet ads fell for the third consecutive month.

Even though the number of job advertisements counted in the major newspapers rose slightly in December, the number of internet ads fell for the third consecutive month.

ANZ Bank, which tracks ads on six websites as well as newspapers, says the number of online ads in December 2001 fell 10.3% to be 17.9% lower than in December 2000.

Newspaper job ads rose 0.7%, though the 27,283 jobs recorded are 6.6% lower than at the same time last year, the ANZ says, and notes that the slight recovery follows four consecutive monthly decreases.

In Australia the number of job advertisements on internet sites -- also monitored by ANZ -- fell by 21.3% in December, following a 7.6% decline in November. This is a much larger decline than those recorded in December 1999 (9.1%) and December 2000 (13.5%) and thus is almost certainly not merely the result of seasonal variations, says ANZ Australia.

The level of internet advertising in December was the lowest recorded since the ANZ series starting monitoring it in July 1999, and is down 51.3% from the peak in September 2000, the bank says.

Australian recruiter Olivier, which also monitors internet job ads across the Tasman, says particularly hard-hit sectors were multimedia and IT and telecomms, the latter of which has only 31.4% of the jobs that existed in December 1999. Olivier says almost 50,000 job ads have been lost in the past 12 months.

Two sites the ANZ monitors here say regardless of the number of ads, but the number of visitors is up. TMP Worldwide in Australia, which runs the Monster.co.nz and Monster.com.au sites, says unique visitors to the sites are up over 200%. TMP says the number of jobs grew 117% in the last calendar year. JobUniverse, a division of IDG, which also publishes Computerworld and IDGNet, says it has fewer job vacancies in December than the year before though IDG MD Bob Pinchin says the site is tracking 52% more visitors to the site than 12 months ago, with number of unique visitors up 44%. Pinchin says the number of candidates registered on the site is over 8000, up 150% on the previous December. TMP says resumes and registered job-seekers on Monster.co.nz are likewise well up.

Job sites say there are indications recruitment agencies are more cleverly writing job ads to attract the most appropriate candidates rather than using the occasional practice of putting up multiple versions of the same vacancy, though TMP marketing spokeswoman Emily Redmond claims the company hasn't experienced much of this practice on Monster.co.nz. Alongside there appears to be more rigorous cost recovery for internet ads than in the past, when building traffic to sites was vital.

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