The number of job vacancies in Australia fell to a 30-month low in November, official statistics show.
The total number of vacancies in November 2012 was 166,800, seasonally adjusted, down 6.9 per cent from the previous quarterly survey in August.
Vacancies in November were down 7.9 per cent from the same month in 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed. The November level of vacancies was the lowest since the May 2010 survey.
In the private sector, the number of job vacancies in November was 154,500, a fall of 6.9 per cent from August and also the lowest level since May 2010. There were 12,300 vacancies in the public sector in November, down 7.5 per cent from three months earlier and 29.7 per cent from a year earlier.
The last time a lower level of public sector vacancies was recorded was in February 2004, evidence of the direct effects of fiscal restraint on the labour market.
Another way of gauging the state of the labour market is to compare the number of vacancies with the number unemployed - without work but looking for a job and ready to start.
Based on ABS labour force data already released, there were 26 job vacancies for every 100 people classified as unemployed in November, suggesting the labour market is at its weakest since late 2009, the last time this measure was at a lower level.
Prior to the impact of the global financial crisis in 2008, there were 38 vacancies per 100 unemployed, while in the post-crisis recovery in late 2010 and early 2011, this measure rose as high as 32 before falling back again to its current level.