| 12.01,12. 07:28 AM |
11,000 Victorian jobs may go
January 12, 2012
MORE than 11,000 Victorian jobs could be lost in the next six months, but it may lead to an interest rate cut.
Figures released yesterday showed job vacancies in Australia hit an 18-month low in November.
Economists warned Victoria's unemployment rate - already above the national average - could rise from 5.4 per cent to 5.75 per cent by mid-year.
Victoria has been one of the hardest hit states in the past 12 months as manufacturing and retail felt the squeeze of a high dollar.
Jobs in retail, hospitality, recreation and manufacturing are most at risk as employers put off hiring amid fears the global economy will continue to weaken.
Employment groups said further interest rate cuts would be a welcome relief to businesses hit by the harsh economic climate.
"Fewer people in work will mean fewer consumers, which is bad for business," said Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Mark Stone.
"Businesses are struggling. It's hoped recent and possibly future interest rate cuts will help counteract this."
Job vacancies in Australia fell 3.3 per cent in the three months to November, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show, prompting fears that more than 54,000 jobs could go nationally by mid-year.
But the warnings also bring the positive news of an increased chance of another interest rate cut next month -- which would bring the cash rate to 4 per cent.
"Employment is weakening, but the possibility of an interest rate cut should provide some support to sensitive sectors such as housing and retail," ANZ's head of Australian economics Katie Dean said.
But she expected the unemployment rates to remain high - about 5.5 per cent - until next year.
There were 181,000 job vacancies nationwide in November, compared with 187,100 in August.
Job vacancies in the private sector fell 3.7 per cent to 163,700, while in the public sector vacancies rose by
1 per cent to 17,300.
Vacancies fell 6.3 per cent for the year, the biggest annual fall since 2002.
The hiring slowdown was a clear sign unemployment would rise in the next few months, CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said.
"A softer job market will keep downward pressure on wages and prices and should provide the Reserve Bank more reasons to deliver another rate cut," he said.