Job advertisements rose for a third consecutive month, in a sign that hiring intentions by businesses are continuing to improve, a private survey shows.
Total job advertisements on the internet and in major metropolitan newspapers rose 1.0 per cent in March, the ANZ job advertisements survey showed on Tuesday.
That follows a 3.3 per cent rise in job ads in February and a 7.5 per cent rise in January.
In the year to March, job ads were up 2.8 per cent and are now at their highest level since November 2008.
ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the job ads figures showed that unemployment should not rise too far in the coming months.
"The trend in total advertising points toward a modest recovery in employment growth and an unemployment rate remaining below 5.5 per cent through 2012, despite potential divergences between regions and industries," Mr Hogan said.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release March employment data on Thursday and the ANZ is forecasting jobs growth of 5,000 and an unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent.
Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate at 4.25 per cent at its April board meeting but the bank's governor Glenn Stevens flagged the possibility of a cut in May.
Mr Hogan said more rate cuts beyond May are unlikely as employment growth improves.
"We expect a trend improvement in job ads and labour market conditions over the next couple years," he said.
"Increased volatility in other activity indicators from the rising importance of mining may spill over into job ads at times, but we remain optimistic on hiring intentions as a result of the mining boom."
Internet job advertisements were up 1.0 per cent in March and were 4.1 per cent higher than a year ago.
Job ads in newspapers fell 0.6 per cent in March and were 22.0 per cent lower than 12 months earlier.
Mr Hogan said in recent months the trend towards internet job advertising has accelerated, with newspaper employment ads accounting for around four per cent of total jobs ads.
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