SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet rose modestly in September for the first time since February, adding to signs the soft labour market may be starting to pick up.
A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group <ANZ.AX> showed total job advertisements rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in September from August, when they declined by 2.0 percent.
The average number of job ads per week was 126,516, down 15.2 percent on the same month last year.
Job ads on the Internet edged up 0.2 percent in September to 122,439, to be down 14.4 percent on the year. Newspaper ads rose 1.1 percent, but were down 32.7 percent on the year.
Analysts at ANZ said trends in job advertising appear to be stabilising.
"Along with a number of other leading indicators of the labour market, the rate of deterioration in ANZ job ads has moderated in recent months, with job advertising showing signs of improvement in a number of states and territories," ANZ chief economist Ivan Colhoun said.
"This is consistent with ANZ's view that much of the rise in the unemployment rate may have already occurred and that it is likely to drift only modestly higher."
Official employment figures for September are due on Thursday. Forecasts favour a rise of 15,000 with the unemployment rate seen steady at a four-year high of 5.8 percent.
(Reporting by Ian Chua; Editing by John Mair)