New figures point to a booming ACT job market, with both growth in job ads and a fall in the unemployment rate showing the capital is bucking nationwide job trends.
The unemployment rate in the ACT is at its lowest in 11 years, down to 3 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Nationally the unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.3 per cent in January, with economists expecting it to rise further.
The increase was just 0.2 per cent over the month, a participation rate of 66.1 per cent, seasonally adjusted.
Underemployment rose in the capital though, up to 14.9 per cent from 14.8 per cent the month before.
The ACT's youth unemployment rate was 8.8 per cent in January, well below the 12.1 per cent of people between 15-24 across the nation out of work.
There was an increase of 46,200 people in full-time employment and a decrease of 32,700 people in part-time jobs - a net boost of 13,500.
The bushfires and coronavirus had a major impact over the month.
Over the 12 months to January, full-time jobs rose by 143,900, while part-time employment increased by 103,500 people.
The largest increases in employment were recorded in Western Australia (up 6700), Victoria (up 2900) and Queensland (up 2800), while the largest drop was in New South Wales (down 1500).
However, the jobless rate increased by 0.6 in Queensland (6.3 per cent) and 0.4 in both Victoria (5.4 per cent) and Tasmania (5.9 per cent).
South Australia saw a 0.5 percentage point dip in unemployment to 5.7 per cent.
The underemployment rate increased 0.3 percentage points to 8.6 per cent.
According to online job website Seek, ads for jobs in Canberra jumped 9.5 per cent in January compared to last year, while across the country ads dropped by 6.5 per cent.
NSW experienced the biggest drop in job ads, down 13.9 per cent in January compared to the same time last year.
The average advertised salaries also grew in the ACT, up by 2.9 per cent to $90,900. The average for Australia was a 1.7 per cent increase to $88,746 annual salary. Only Tasmania and South Australia experienced bigger jumps in advertised salaries, while the ACT still had the highest average salaries advertised.
Only four industries increased the number of job ads placed on the website, including Community Services and Development, Education and Training and Healthcare and Medical.
Managing director of Seek ANZ Kendra Banks said while the year on year data showed a steep decline for the country, it wasn't all bad news.
"Whilst year on year job ads for January 2020 were down, we are seeing positive month on month growth, pointing to a potential improvement in the job market," she said.
Economists are predicting further increases in the unemployment rate and a subsequent interest rate cut in coming months.
"Along with yesterday's meagre wage growth print, these data show that there is still plenty of spare capacity in the labour market," BIS Oxford Economics senior economist Sean Langcake said.
He expects jobs growth to lose momentum over 2020 and slow to less than two per cent.
"This will make it challenging to work through existing spare capacity, and we expect the RBA will cut rates in the first half of the year to aid this transition," he said.
Capital Economics' Ben Udy said the January data alone probably wouldn't convince the Reserve Bank a cut was necessary, but he too predicted unemployment would continue to rise.
"If we are right, we think that will be enough to convince the RBA to cut rates by 25 basis points in April and July," he said.