SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian job advertisements fell for a fifth straight month in June, data showed on Monday, as labour demand continued to ease in the face of high interest rates and a slowing economy.

Data from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and employment website Indeed showed job ads fell 2.2% in June from May, when they dropped by a revised 1.9%. For the second quarter, they fell 7.1% from the quarter before, compared with the first-quarter’s decline of 3.0%.

Ads were down 17.6% from the same month a year earlier, but remained 17.8% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

“The pace of declines in ANZ-Indeed Australian Job Ads has intensified,” said ANZ economist Madeline Dunk. “We’re seeing a similar story in other parts of the labour market, with indicators easing from strong starting positions.”

“That said, we only expect a modest lift in the unemployment rate to 4.3%.”

The data showed job ads fell in June on lower demand for cleaners, tradespeople and food service workers.

The easing in the labour market is one reason that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has held interest rates steady at 4.35% for five straight meetings now, but as inflation keeps surprising on the upside, markets are betting there is a 65% chance that the RBA could hike again in August.

The jobs report due on July 18 will be closely watched for the strength of the labour market.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu; Editing by Sonali Paul)

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