New Zealand job advertisements in newspapers and online rose 5.3 per cent in February bouncing back from consecutive falls in January and December, ANZ Bank said.
Job ads were driven by an 8 per cent jump in internet listings, offset by a 6.4 per cent fall in newspaper listings. The three-month average series has dropped for the past seven months though the pace of decline has eased considerably, the bank said.
"The annual change in this series marries up with the annual change in the unemployment rate," ANZ said. "It predicts the unemployment rate might well fall a bit further in the first quarter, from the current rate of 6.3 per cent, but will bounce back upward the following quarter."
In the main centres Auckland experienced the strongest growth in job advertisements rising 9.1 per cent, while Christchurch rose 4.2 per cent. Wellington ads fell 5.5 per cent.
"Signs of job ads stabilisation in January and February is encouraging, but we'd need to see a few more months of this before predictions of a falling unemployment rate in the second half of 2012 will have any substance," ANZ Bank said.