The federal government’s leading employment index fell for a fourth consecutive month in April following revisions to the series.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations said its monthly leading indicator of employment fell by 0.167 points to 0.087 in April.
The department said weakness was evident in all four of the indicator’s components.
“It is still too early to confirm that a slowing in employment growth – to a rate below its long-term trend of 1.7 per cent per annum – is in prospect, because the indicator has fallen for fewer than six months,” it said.
The leading jobs indicator anticipates movements in the growth cycle of employment, with a turning point confirmed after six consecutive monthly moves in the same direction.
The indicator has four weighted components: ANZ Newspaper Job Advertisements, Dun and Bradstreet Employment Expectations, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index of Economic Activity and the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index.
Official labour force data for March will be released on Thursday.
Economists’ forecasts centre on a 5000 rise in employment but with the jobless rate rising to 5.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent in February.