The number of job ads on internet sites slumped in December though the reduction may simply be due to the seasonal drop-off in hiring.
The provisional figures for December from the ANZ Bank, which monitors internet and newspaper ad numbers, suggest net job ads may have fallen by around 5% to 10% from the previous month. However, ANZ chief economist Bernard Hodgetts notes that there is always a dip in traditional ads at this time since December is not a popular time for hiring. He does believe that the "very fast" growth in net ads seen earlier in 2000 may be starting to slow – figures have been weaker since September – but says that this also might suggest a more subdued economy.
The number of internet-based job ad on the six websites the ANZ bank monitors – Seek, JobUniverse, NZjobs, Jobnet, Monster and Netcheck – dropped in October but rose again in November, to 13,879. That was up 1.9% on October but still not to the 14,527 level reached in September.
Meanwhile, internet job ads have fallen markedly over the past two months in Australia. The number of jobs on the six internet sites monitored there by ANZ fell by 13.5% in December 2000 to an average of 89,912 a week, the lowest since April 2000. Sydney-based Olivier Recruitment Group, which also monitors internet job ads, come up with similar results. The company says its results provide "a fairly pessimistic view of business confidence".
Despite the fall, research firm IDC has estimated that online recruitment advertising in Australia will grow from $A14.7 million in 1999 to $A329.3 million in 2004. The figure includes spending on internet job listings, banner ads and recruitment company promotion.