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ANZ has predicted an unemployment rate of about 7 percent for the next six months as job advertisements rebound only slightly.
The total number of advertisements in newspapers and online rose 0.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in December, according to ANZ's New Zealand Job Advertisement series.
Advertising for Wellington jobs hit a three-year low in December and adverts in Canterbury fell to a six-month low. Job advertising in Auckland rose slightly in December after dropping for the previous five months.
ANZ's weighted composite measure of job advertising rose 1.1 percent in December (seasonally adjusted), up from November's two-year low.
The composite places more weight on newspaper advertisements to offset the effects of multiple internet sites listing the same jobs.
ANZ claims this composite closely tracks changes in the official unemployment rate six months before they turn up in the Household Labour Force Survey, the primary measure of employment levels.
On this basis, they predict the unemployment rate will hold steady, hovering around 7 percent until the middle of this year.
The December quarter HLFS is due for release by Statistics New Zealand on Thursday, February 7.
Online job advertising continues to take market share from newspapers – 10 percent fewer newspaper ads were published last month than in December 2011, while online ads dropped only 1 percent in the same period.