SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian job vacancies slipped in December after two months of sharp increases as some positions were filled, while a resumption in coronavirus cases may have had some impact on employers.

Wednesday’s figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd showed the total number of job vacancies fell 5.5% in December compared to November, when they jumped 9 , 9% revised upwards.

The announcements were still up 32.7% from the previous year to 212,098 and 4.2% more than in June 2021, when the Delta variant was first released.

ANZ Senior Economist Catherine Birch noted that a huge increase of 366,100 jobs reported in November suggested that some outstanding positions had been filled and was part of the reason for the drop in announcements.

“But it’s also possible that companies have become more hesitant to hire due to the spread of Omicron and the resulting uncertainty over consumer behavior and worker availability,” she added. .

New cases of coronavirus began to take off at the end of December and are now reaching daily records.

Birch said polls also suggested more workers were looking to change jobs this year.

“With so much competition for the workforce and workers feeling secure in their jobs, we should see more people working better jobs and demanding bigger pay increases in 2022, thus contributing to growth in the workforce. higher wages, ”she said.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is keeping interest rates at record highs in hopes of bringing unemployment down to 4% or even lower and ultimately boost wage growth after years of lukewarm gains.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.